The Syrian Civil War, already notable for multiple horrors, has apparently reached a new low.
Child soldiers are now apparently playing a role, as the conflict quickly becomes further muddled. Paul Alster, writing for My Fox DC, says that the original version of this video carried the title “A Message From One Of The Cubs Of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL).
If true, it is highly likely that the inclusion of the child was some twisted form of propoganda. Of course it is still despicable, and helps to underline ISIL’s precarious situation in Syria.
ISIL is a small, but powerful, rebel group currently engaged in the war against Assad. Until today, ISIL had been linked to al Qaeda, and was the offshoot of an al Qaeda branch in Iraq. While in Syria, ISIL has been noted for its incredibly brutal tactics and its willingness to fight other rebel groups, including the Nusra Front, the official al Qaeda proxy, for territory.
This has led al Qaeda to disown ISIL through postings on jihadi websites. With ISIL being linked to indiscriminate killings and increasingly brutal laws, al Qaeda is likely attempting to do damage control before it loses all appeal in the region.
A Nusra commander, speaking to Reuters, said following the announcement, “”Now we are going to war with ISIL and will finish it off once and for all.”
Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings institute, has been cited as saying that the al Qaeda statement:
“represents an attempt by al Qaeda to definitively re-assert some level of authority over the jihad in Syria… This represents a strong and forthright move by (al Qaeda) and will undoubtedly serve to further consolidate Jabhat al-Nusra’s role as al Qaeda’s official presence in Syria.”
Likely, all this move will actually do is further increase the already bitter fighting between rebel groups in Syria. Rebel-on-rebel fighting is often among the most brutal in the country, and only further plays into Assad’s hands as he increases his own troop deployments on the field.
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