En sjokkerende video viser jihadister som dreper tilfangetatte regjeringssoldater. Hva slags budskap ønsker de å sende ved å gjøre slike grusomheter offentlig?
Andre mer moderate grupper forstår at slike handlinger kompromitterer kampen.
The disturbing scenes of the captured regime troops being killed, shortly after their post near Damascus was overrun, have angered rebel units in the north.
«We have to show we are different from the regime,» said Sheik Omar Othman from the Islamist-leaning Liwat al-Tawheed unit in Aleppo. «Because they do it, it means that we don’t.»
Syriske opprørere som er nasjonalorienterte islamister klager over at de utenlandske og de syriske jihadistene får de beste og fleste våpnene og strutter av cash.
Det militære rådet som skulle koordinere kampen er ineffektivt og sitter på lang avstand i Tyrkia. Resultatet er at selv de moderate islamistene blir nødt for å ta mot støtte og ledelse fra jihadistene. Det betyr en hardere, mer uforsonlig og sekterisk krig.
Syrian Islamist groups have been at the vanguard of the fighting in Aleppo for the past three months, but are not able to match the better-armed and funded global jihadist units, who are increasingly taking centre stage in the war for the north of the country.
«This will soon mean that Jabhat al-Nusraf (an al-Qaida-aligned group) will be the only group capable of mounting the lethal operations on bases and security headquarters,» said a leader of Liwat al-Tawheed, which has been a key player in the fighting in Aleppo. «It already means that we can’t win without them.»
Islamist and non-Islamist rebel leaders here say that they are being forced to accept the help of the highly motivated jihadist groups, the predominantly Syrian Jabhat al-Nusraf, and the foreigner group known as al-Muhajirin, because no other assistance is coming their way.
Foreign fighters who embrace the al-Qaida worldview are increasingly travelling to Aleppo province, where they are forming training camps and leadership groups and are readily joining the front lines. The foreigners are also taking increasingly prominent fighting positions in non-jihadist units, which claim to be continually low on weapons and ammunition.
Rebel officers interviewed by the Observer over the past week say that few recent large attacks against the Syrian military or regime targets have taken place without the presence of several al-Muhajirin members.
De utenlandske krigerne er anonyme. De oppgir falske navn og en opprørsoffiser sier de ofte ikke en gang vet hvem de gravlegger.
«They are fighting here and they are dying here,» said one rebel officer. «Sometimes we don’t even know their names when we bury them, because they give us an alias when they arrive.
«I know we are playing with fire,» he said. «But tell me, what would you do if you were in my position?»
Another Liwat al-Tawheed commander said enough ammunition was arriving from Turkey to keep the battle going, but not enough to win it.
Flust med penger
«Compare what we have to what al-Nusraf are getting. They are not getting weapons from outside, but they are buying them in Syria with large amounts of cash. They are very well supplied and they are not saying where they are getting the money from.»
Hvor kommer pengene fra? Det er grunn til å mistenke rike personer i Saudi-Arabia og Emiratene. Det var disse som finansierte al Qaida, og de har neppe endret syn. Myndighetene ser gjennom fingrene med det, eller nekter å iverksette de nødvendige kontrolltiltak. Saudi-Arabia har ofte sabotert ønske fra USA om mer informasjon.
Hva dette betyr for Europas sikkerhet på litt lengre sikt, kan man bare tenke seg.
Jihadist killing of captives widens the split among rebel fighters in Syria
A video showing the shooting of regime troops after they had been taken prisoner angered rebels who say foreign Islamists are being favoured with arms and funds