I agree, just as long as it's restricted to non-combatants and the injured, as providing any other aid to combatants amounts to interfering in civil wars in other countries.
I don't have a problem with humanitarian aid. Thats always a good thing.
This is the thing. The ''rebel'' groups are hardly allies. For example there is a Kurdish rebel group fighting both the Assad regime and other ''rebel'' groups, because they want an autonomous Kurdish state.
Also, if Assad goes, who the heck fills the vacuum?
The ''rebel'' group that's reported to be the most effective ''rebel'' group in Syria is the Al-Nusra Front, which is an Al-Qaeda affiliate and is designated by most western countries to be a terrorist organisation.
But it's not hard to see why they would be popular among many of the local people, just so long as they like Sharia law, as seemingly they get lots of ''free stuff.''
The al-Qaida-affiliated commander in charge of the oil company in Shadadi, eastern Syria – a lean, broad-shouldered man who is followed everywhere by a machete-wielding bodyguard – was explaining the appeal of jihadi rule to the people of the newly captured town.
"Go and ask the people in the streets whether there a liberated town or city anywhere in Syria that is ruled as efficiently as this one," he boasted. "There is electricity, water and bread and security. Inshallah, this will be the nucleus of a new Syrian Islamic caliphate!"
The al-Nusra Front, the principle jihadi rebel group in Syria, defies the cliche of Islamist fighters around the Middle East plotting to establish Islamic caliphates from impoverished mountain hideaways. In north-eastern Syria, al-Nusra finds itself in command of massive silos of wheat, factories, oil and gas fields, fleets of looted government cars and a huge weapons arsenal.
The commander talked about the services al-Nusra is providing to Shadadi's residents. First, there is food: 225 sacks of wheat, baked into bread and delivered to the people every day through special teams in each neighbourhood. Then there is free electricity and water, which run all day throughout the town. There is also al-Nusra healthcare, provided from a small clinic that treats all comers, regardless of whether they have sworn allegiance to the emirate or not. Finally, there is order and the promise of swift justice, delivered according to sharia law by a handful of newly appointed judges.
"God has chosen us to provide security to the people, and we do it for nothing," he said. "We have vowed to sacrifice ourselves to serve the people. If we leave, the tribes will start killing each other for the oil and the loot. We had to show force in dealing with the tribes. Even now, one to three people are killed every day because of feuding over the oil. We also protect the silos of wheat. All the silos are under our protection.
"All this wealth," he said, "is for the Muslims."http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ra-front-jihadi
That pretty much sums up Al-Qaeda's vision of the middle east. Bin Laden thought he could start an Islamic Caliphate in Afghanistan, and now all the other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups that have sprung up since then are trying to do the same all over the middle east and North Africa.
It's like socialism and Islam combined.
Syrian civilians have said that they are surprised that the west is not supporting the Syrian regime, as they are fighting against
this fast spreading ideology, that they know we are also fighting against in other countries.
Regardless of our support for other ''rebels'' who are also fighting against Assad, Assad's forces have begun to take back control of Al-Nusra's ''caliphate.''
An official source said that the army units destroyed terrorists' gatherings in the villages and towns of Kafr Najid, Ein al-Bayda, Aryeha, Maar Tamsarin , al-Shwyeha, Tal Damen, Kafr Sajna, Maaret al-Nouman and Kafrouma in Idlib countryside.
Amy units inflict heavy losses upon terrorists in al-Hasaka
Units of the armed forces carried out a special operation against a terrorists' gathering in al-Shadadi city, killing and injuring scores of terrorists and destroying their weapons and equipment.http://english.farsnews.com/newstex...=13920606001073
Not so long ago it seemed that the regime forces had almost retreated to Damascus, but now they seem to have taken back most strategic areas in Syria, with support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. So a one-off military strike by the US and it's allies would seem to be intended to tip the balance once again in the rebels' favour, and so prolong the conflict, whatever the eventual outcome might be.
One thing we are consistent in, whether it's intentional or not, is that we're helping to transform the middle east from authoritarian but stable secular states with powerful dictators and powerful armies, into unstable radical Islamic states with weak ''democratic'' governments and little in the way of any armed forces.
So perhaps the idea is to deplete Syria's armed forces, without giving too much in the way of advanced weapons to any ''rebels,'' then when Assad falls which is surely only a matter of time, it won't matter so much to our governments or Israel who takes over. And all the better if Syria can be divided up into more than one state, for the same reason as the British and French divided the Ottoman empire up into different states.
On the face of it, the danger would seem to be that Al-Qaeda will continue to spread. Some Al-Qaeda group fired four rockets into Israel the other day from Lebanon. Israel of course rightly defended itself with an airstrike at the ''rebels.''
Israel has also carried out a few airstrikes against the Assad regime in recent months, notably destroying a batch of anti-ship missiles that Syria had just received from Russia, which could only be used against a foreign attack from the sea, such as the one we are about to mount.
It's been said that the British never truly colonised India, but that we just managed the internal conflicts to our advantage. That seems to be pretty much what we're doing in the middle east nowadays. Consider how successfully Israel has ''managed'' the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for so long, and how easily it defeated all of it's neighbours in 1967.
As long as the rest of the middle east is divided up into defenceless weak states full of people with different ideologies with governments barely in control, they won't be much of a threat to anyone but themselves and each other.