Massakrer som den som nylig ble begått i byen Hatlah mot shiaer er alvorlige advarsler mot amerikansk innblanding i Syria.
Hvis det en gang i fremtiden skulle vise seg at slike forbrytelser var begått med amerikanske våpen, ville det bli en alvorlig belastning for USA. Motstandere som Kina og Russland ville selvsagt vite å utnytte et slikt poeng for alt det er verdt.
Det var onsdag denne uken det ble kjent at mellom 30 og 60 shiaer var drept i Hatlah. Noen av dem kan ha vært milits, men det kan ha vært lokal milits som skulle forsvare hjemmene. Også opprørsaktivister er enig om at også sivile ble drept, og mønsteret er velkjent: jihadister rykker inn under svarte flagg og kaller shiaene for hunder-
What was not in dispute was that several battalions of Sunni rebels, including members of extremist Islamist groups, stormed the village and, in video posted online by antigovernment activists, could be seen setting houses on fire as they shouted sectarian slogans, calling Shiites dogs, apostates and infidels.
“This is your end, you dogs,” a man off camera said as he panned across what he said were the corpses of “pug nosed” Shiites, including one with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
“We have raised the banner of ‘There Is No God but God’ over the houses of the rejectionist Shiite apostates,” one fighter chanted in another clip as a black cloud billowed above the village and jubilant gunmen brandished black flags often used by the extremist Al Nusra Front and other Islamist fighting groups.
“Here are the jihadists celebrating their storming of the rejectionists’ houses! The Shiite rejectionists!” the fighter added. Some extremist Sunnis refer to Shiites as rejectionists because the sect arose from a group that rejected the early successors of the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.
Propaganda er blitt et viktig våpen i krigen, herunder videoer. Hvis jihad-grupper hadde fått amerikanske våpen ville mange hatt interesse av å kompromittere USA, herunder jihadistene selv.
Some opponents of Mr. Assad accuse his supporters of playing on minority fears and more recently of using sectarian slogans. A video said to have been leaked from a recent recruiting session in the largely Shiite village of Nabl in the northern province of Aleppo, for example, showed a crowd of recruits praising Hussein, a central figure in Shiism, and the recruiter promising, “We will fight under the banner of Hussein.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an antigovernment watchdog group based in Britain with a network of contacts across Syria, said the Hatlah attack killed 60 people, mostly from a pro-government militia.