Here’s a good report on the opposition to Asad but also the Islamists in Syria. It says:
“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria detained the media activist Mohammad Nour Matar on Tuesday evening outside its base… after he stood alongside a woman who tried to stage a sit-in,” Matar’s brother Amer told AFP.
In Idlib province in the northwest, whose borders with Turkey have allowed foreign jihadists to join the fighting in numbers, dozens of mainstream rebels were killed in a battle with ISIS last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The fighting broke out after rebels protested against the detention by the jihadists of a 12-year-old boy accused of uttering a blasphemous phrase.
“The chief of the [Free Syrian Army-affiliated] Hamzah Assadullah Brigade and his brother were both killed” in the fighting, the Britain-based watchdog said.
“We haven’t seen many such battles, but it is clear the anger against the Islamic State and other jihadists is on the rise across Syria,” its director Rami Abdel Rahman.
The case echoed that of a 14-year-old boy executed by ISIS fighters in the main northern city of Aleppo who accused him of blasphemy for using a colloquial phrase.
Rahman said mainstream rebels appeared set for a new confrontation with their jihadist rivals in Idlib after ISIS demanded that all other groups surrender their weapons.
Nizar, an activist from the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, said: “Time is running out for all these [jihadist] groups.”
“They use violence and religion to try control us and, although people are afraid to openly express their dissent, no one wants them.”
Yes, indeed, no one wants them…
With no end in sight to the worsening situation in Syria, the number of refugees outside the country at almost 2 million and millions more internally displaced, help is urgently needed. Save the Children are doing crucial work, providing food, shelter, protection, education and counselling to children caught up in the violence and instability – but as always are in desperate need of funds to keep going. An activist of the Council of Ex-Muslims, Chris Roche and another are living in tents for a month until 8 August so as to raise money to support Syrian children. Help support them here.