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Yesterday CNN published a report, 'Rebel court fills void amid Syrian civil war', by Ivan Watson about a court which has been established in an opposition controlled part of the city of Aleppo, Syria.

The report was interesing but, as is often the case, it left more questions unanswered than answered. One of which was prompted by this sentence.

"This section is for shabiha, informants, collaborators, spies and homosexuals," said the warden, who asked to be named only Abu Abdo.
I wondered whether this court considers homosexuality to be a crime which is at the same level of severity as spying or collaboration.

- - - - - - - - - -

The New York Times also had an article this weekend, 'Jihadists and Secular Activists Clash in Syria', about friction between oppositon groups in Syria.

The tensions had been simmering for months in the northern Syrian town of Saraqib. Civilian antigovernment activists had complained of rebel fighters who needlessly destroyed a milk factory and treated residents disrespectfully. A growing contingent of jihadist fighters from the ideologically extreme and militarily formidable Nusra Front was suspicious of the activists’ secular, nonviolent agenda.

...

Originally posted to InAntalya on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just what the Syrians need (3+ / 0-)

    Al Qaeda backed kangaroo courts.

    There really is no good option for Joe Syrian is there?

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:20:37 PM PST

  •  Power struggles between Salamist jihadis and (5+ / 0-)

    moderates beginning to erupt in areas where the government forces have lost control.

    Syria's other struggle: balancing sharia and justice

    AFP - In the heart of Syria's rebel territory, away from the blasts and bullets of the frontlines, another struggle is playing out: one for a new justice system that could shape the future face of the country should the regime fall.

    The struggle is between ex-regime judges and Islamic jihadists, and at stake is whether the courts apply a modified version of existing Syrian law, or switch to strict sharia law.

    Currently, both systems exist in parallel -- with radically different treatment for those accused and convicted of crimes.
    ...
    "That's why we can't work with the Al-Nusra Front. They are too severe. Their sentences are death or cutting off a hand in stealing cases," Kaeid says.

    "Islam is much simpler than that. It shouldn't be applied so harshly."

    The judge also said of Al-Nusra, "they are part of Al-Qaeda."

    The unease over Al-Nusra's aims and ambitions, however, in no way discredits the jihadist group in the eyes of the rebels, who welcome any proficient combatants to fight the better-armed regime forces -- especially given the absence of Western-supplied weapons and ammunition.

    "Al-Nusra answered our call to fight in the jihad. But the problem now is that we are unable to stop them," the judge says.

    But he warns of a potential power struggle when Syria looks to a future without Assad at the helm.

    "Without help from NATO, we will not be able to kick Al-Nusra out of Syria," Kaeid says.

    I don't think the Salafist jihadists are going to go quietly. They have invested the blood of too many martyrs. It's almost a replay of the Afghanistan situation from the 80's.
    Jordan’s King Abdullah: “The New Taliban Are In Syria”
    Jan 25, 2013

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, King Abdullah warned of Al Qaeda’s presence in Syria and said that it could take years for peace to return to the war-torn country.

    Jordan's King Abdullah warned today that those who think the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad will fall in weeks don't know the situation on the ground. He expects Assad will hold on for at least the first half of 2013. And he cautioned that even if that government falls and is replaced by a strong and effective new administration (which is doubtful) it could take years clean out the jihadists that have established themselves inside Syria's war-torn territory. Al Qaeda has established itself there, he said, and, "The new Taliban we are going to have to deal with are in Syria."
    ...

  •  Another confirmation that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deward Hastings, InAntalya

    the Syrian rebels are in their majority much worse than the Assad regime.  Not surprising.  They are jihadists after all.  

  •  Best case scenario (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn, InAntalya

    this works out something like Iran.  People who really want positive reform ally themselves with genuinely scary people because they can fight and they have better logistics than they do.

    Guess who actually takes over if and when they win.

    More likely, the divisions begin before any decisive victory and it turns into a battle royale.

    Really not seeing any decent outcomes here.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:06:34 PM PST

  •  Thank you, IA! n/t (3+ / 0-)

    It isn't nice to go to jail ... but if that's freedom's price

    by Rusty Pipes on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:06:16 PM PST

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