As Islamists try to assert their vision or Syria, be it as an Islamic State or a state where Sharia is King, the battle of ideas needs to be joined by the secular opposition. Even if we continue to speak past each other in the early phases, it is important that we begin exploring visions for the future of Syria in order to find some common ground at some point: without this common ground, there could be no Syria. The revolution and the violent crackdown it elicited from the Assad regime present an existential challenge not only to different groups in the country, but to the country itself. This kind of challenge cannot be overcome by guns alone. We need to negotiate new terms for a new state. After 20 months of bloodshed, it’s unforgiveable that opposition groups continue to shy away from this.
The leader of the Kurdish group, PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, rejected today the recently created National Coalition. This is to be expected, of course. The PYD was not invited to take part in the Coalition, despite being the Kurdish political group with the largest popular support in the country. Its nationalist agenda and connections to the PKK were too problematic for inclusion at this stage. Any engagement between the Coalition and the PYD will likely take place through the Kurdish national Council, which has three seats in the Coalition, including one the position of Vice-President.
For its part, Al-Tawheed Brigade in Aleppo withdrew on Monday its rejection of the Coalition http://youtu.be/-akrPtGngvA , and its call for the establishment of an Islamic State in Syria. But they insist on greater representation in the Coalition and on having Islam be the main source for legislation in any future state. In decades gone by, having such a constitutional clause amounted to nothing more than a token gesture to the Islamists and was never upheld. But with Islamist feeling so empowered today, having such a clause could be quite problematic this time around, especially with an emphasis on the “the” part in sentence “the main source for legislation.” Moreover, the retraction by Al-Tawheed still leaves Jabhatl Al-Nusra, Ahrar AlSham and Ahrar Souria and a smaller assortment of groups from around the country on board of a call for an Islamic State. The issue will be a difficult one for Syrian rebels, activists and opposition groups to handle down the road.
Rebels take control of the Air Defense Unit near Bouaida, Damascus http://youtu.be/WEmy8GZ773s
Random shelling leaves buildings on fire in Moadamia, Damascus http://youtu.be/3LZeICPaNHw Babbila http://youtu.be/nwO3ymQsjXM Daraya was pounded as well http://youtu.be/BFYB7GCjmvw Mass Burials http://youtu.be/Ct-V_A3OJdM Jets pounded Douma as well http://youtu.be/M7rAAhl6mjo
The town of Mayadeen, Deir Ezzor Province is bombarded by MiGs http://youtu.be/TlriwbCKU0I Helicopter gunships are involved as well http://youtu.be/CMmvyq48aTs Local in state of panic http://youtu.be/YFifFNwKpOA , http://youtu.be/jKksBwrwNT4 Meanwhile, rebels and loyalists clash in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/Gz-s5xCmIss
Loyalist troops pound rebel strongholds in Aleppo city: Salaheddine http://youtu.be/woLdZ5nH0Xs Rebels in action http://youtu.be/kpi1qi42nic , http://youtu.be/ImO9GuDrNnc
Aerial bombardment of Manbij, Aleppo Province http://youtu.be/-HoBqF98mbM paves the way for clashes with rebels on the ground http://youtu.be/9MTUPRqw5d0 , http://youtu.be/ZtWo7njhcwM
Rebels and loyalists clash in the mountains of Lattakia http://youtu.be/oM0Kdylrf_A , http://youtu.be/fRgXw5zbqyM