There is a huge faultine dividing the rebels in Syria: the Free Syria Army (FSA) versus the Muslim Brotherhood. (There are other divisions as well, but this one is quite potent.)
The FSA is building a shadow state apparatus by virtue of coordinating various bands of war and defected military units fighting the revolution on the ground into a single structure of command. At the top of this structure is Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh, head of the Higher Military Council of the FSA.
But the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to finance and weaponize alternative gangs, in an effort to give them military parity with the FSA.
The Obama regime is overtly thinking about sending them $280 million, via the new Syrian National Initiative.
The FSA leadership, as well as leaders of prominent rebel gangs (such as Abu Issa), see this move as an attempt to usurpate the revolution, to divide it or to instrumentalize the people fighting it for the political objective of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood, however, is spinning it in the name of unity.
Qatar is currently hosting a fresh attempt to unite the political leaders of the opposition.
The Syrian National Initiative will consist of a core of 60 members, a military committee and a judicial committee. The 60 will then appoint a technocratic government to ‘run the revolution in Syria’, including the administration of rebel-held areas.
If it is agreed, Middle Eastern diplomats involved in drawing up a blueprint for a transitional Syrian government say it has been promised huge financial backing, including $280 million (£175 million) from the United States.
There will also be discussion of military support.
Jamal al-Wa’ard, an SNC member, said: “We have negotiated a mechanism by which we can defend ourselves against Assad’s planes,” suggesting it had been promised better anti-aircraft weapons, such as modern shoulder-mounted missiles.
— By Richard Spencer & Ruth Sherlock, for The Daily Telegraph
The Syrian National Initiative is basically the second version of the Syrian National Council, an interface between the Muslim Brotherhood and revolutionary forces on the ground. Its goal is to put together a pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria in order to give the Brotherhood military parity with the FSA on the ground.
The FSA has done the bulk of the fighting on the ground, but it has so far remained largely outside the Syrian National Council.
Maasouf, the leader of The Shields, and Abu Issa, the leader of The Falcons and of a new Front, are allying themselves with the Free Syrian Army, not the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian National Initiative.
The Syrian National Initiative’s actual objective is to give gangs unaffiliated with the FSA (such as The Freemen) weapon parity, and even superiority.
The Syrian National Initiative wants to impose an alternative structure of command to the one that is being installed by the FSA. Most of the Free Syrian Army units are now facing pressure to take orders from Muslim Brotherhood representative in Istanbul, in exchange for money and weapons (mostly anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades).
The Syrian National Initiative is a coordinated effort by the Muslim Brotherhood to marginalize the FSA.