WASHINGTON — The Syrian civil war is reaching a stalemate yet again, but it looks like the al-Qaeda-linked fighters are helping to turn the tide of the war. Reuters reports that this could help bolster the rebel movement in that region of Syria.
The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which has allies located within Iraq, retook a town that was vital for arms smuggling. The government forces, led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, took the town of Otaiba last month.
The lack of actual internal unity among the rebel movement, in addition to the shortage of heavy weaponry and support, has hurt the Syrian rebels’ efforts to eliminate or topple the Assad regime. Assad is supported by Iran, Russia and China, while the rebels are struggling to gain support because of their fractured movement.
Israel even joined the fracas and attacked a Syrian military site, which was rumored to house chemical weapons. This was after Obama had backtracked on his earlier statement of Syria crossing a “red line”.
Though Syrian rebels has a seat at the Arab League and represents Syria, the al-Qaeda element within the rebel movement has made the West very wary of supporting the rebellion. Analysts are worried that if the U.S. and U.K. provide rocket launchers and similar weapons to take town Assad’s helicopters and tanks, they will eventually be used against Western targets.