Assad is not winning the Syrian War, but he is not losing either. The war is more or less stalemated, but ISIS has been gaining ground in the east. At this point, nearly 10 Syria is full of all sorts of armies and militias everywhere you look. There are a number of militias or armies fighting on the side of Assad which are out of Assad’s control. Many of these are guerrillas behind enemy lines. There are also independent Alawite, Christian and to some extent Druze pro-Assad militias. There really are no secular or moderate rebels anymore. The Free Syrian Army started out that way, but they have grown more and more Islamist. None of the rebel forces are friendly to Christians, Alawites or Druze at this point. It really is a choice between Assad and a hardline Sunni Islamist regime. This is an unbelievably vicious and cruel war with many deaths on all sides. There are no angels here. Both sides are fighting extremely dirty. The “secular” Free Syrian Army massacres entire towns of Alawites and chops off the heads of 7 year old Alawi girls. The FSA love to chop off heads, and there are many photos of FSA troops holding up severed heads. Syrian Christians now regard the FSA as the enemy. Assad is fighting with extreme cruelty. Many civilians are killed by bombs and shelling, and entire enemy held cities are destroyed. Both sides execute POW’s. Rebels usually execute POW’s right away, but Assad prefers to torture rebel suspects to death. For instance, in the PFLP-GC controlled Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, there has long been heavy fighting between anti-Assad rebels and pro-Assad militias (PFLP-GC militia itself). Government forces bomb and shell the camp. Nearly 175 Palestinian men from the camp have been captured by the regime on charges of being rebels. All have been tortured to death. Incredibly, ISIS sells oil to the Syrian government from the large oil fields they control. Rumors that ISIS is a project of the Syrian or even more weirdly the Iranian government appear to lack evidence. ISIS kills many Syrian soldiers so it is hard to see how Assad would want to see his own troops slaughtered. However, the US and Turkey were supporting ISIS out of the US Embassy in Istanbul until recently. ISIS is a CIA anti-Assad project in coordination with Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar gone haywire and out of control. Frankenstein is up and walking on his own, and he’s coming for the mad scientists who made him. Heavy fighting between ISIS and a rebellious Syrian tribe in the Deir Al Zour region in the east. Heavy casualties. Fighting continues between ISIS and other groups, especially ISIS and Al-Nusra. However, Al-Nusra also battles the Islamic Front, especially around Aleppo. And they also fight alongside them in the same city. There are definitely all-Kurdish militias inside of ISIS. The Syrian War is a scene of nearly complete chaos, countless militias, everyone fighting everyone, towns changing hands all the time, alliances made and broken, allies fighting alongside each other and then shooting it out, new militias constantly being formed, collapsing or merging into other groups, and extremely heavy casualties on all sides. It is a complete mess, and it is very hard to figure out what exactly is going on anywhere at any time.
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