Friday, October 19, 2012

Najib Miqati's "politics of dissociation"

Not doing very well ...
"... The situation is compounded by Qatar’s man — a major who defected from Assad’s army, who has not yet responded to TIME’s request for comment. The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives. (There are at least 10 military councils scattered throughout the country.) Goods would be delivered to a council and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella. In practice, it wasn’t quite as easy or smooth. “We were given lists by brigade leaders of their men, but we stopped believing the numbers,” says a member of the Istanbul room from Syria’s Idlib province. However, the Saudis, via Okab Sakr, appear to want to support only certain groups within the councils and not others.“We felt that the sides giving us support weren’t on the same page,” says the control-room member from eastern Syria. “They started having side meetings with some groups.” Still, he says, “what is most important is that the guys receive weapons. Whether that is via an operations room or directly, we don’t care. Nobody knows the truth from the talk,” he says. “We have been lied to [by the international community], and we have lied to the guys inside, saying weapons would arrive in a week, in 10 days, and months have passed and some areas haven’t received supplies. So unless I see it, and see it distributed, even I don’t believe it.”....
Colonel Afif Suleiman, the head of the Idlib Military Council, a grouping of 16 military units from across the vast province, is unhappy with the support he gets from the control room. He is angry with Sakr, who, he says, “got involved in the issue of weapons to split our ranks, to divide the revolutionaries.” Sakr, he says, recently “chose three people on our council and supported them. I won’t name them. They are not the largest units. There is one big group, but the others are just regular ones,” Suleiman tells TIME. “He formed a rift within the council, and we are working to heal this rift. We clarified the issue to our Saudi brothers about Okab. They promised that there will be no support, either military or financial, except via the councils. This is what they recently promised us.”
To complicate things further, the Qataris reportedly have strong ties to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, while the Saudis “don’t want any ties to anything called Muslim Brothers,” says Ahmad Zeidan, the nom de guerre of a member of the Idlib military council. According to several sources, the large group in the Idlib military council that Sakr supported — to the aggravation of Suleiman — is Jamal Maarouf’s Martyrs of Syria Battalion, because it “has a more neutral view of the Brothers,” a U.S.-based activist says...."

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