Det brutale drapet på opprørslederen Kamal Hamami synes uforståelig, Men drapet følger al-Qaidas egen logikk:. Hamami var vantro og han hadde utstedt en erklæring om å beskytte kristne og alawitter.
Mr Hamami, whose nom de guerre was Abu Baseer, had led one of the FSA’s most battle-hardened brigades in Salma, a frontline town in a province that is otherwise a regime stronghold.
Local sources said he was killed by Abu Ayman, the leader of the al-Qaeda group, in a dispute over a plan to attack a Syrian government checkpoint on the Syrian-Turkish border.
“When Abu Baseer went to see them, the jihadists called them “infidels” and refused to let his men attack the checkpoint. Abu Ayman took out his gun and shot him,” said a close friend of Abu Baseer.
The al-Qaeda faction accused of the FSA of “sabotaging their military activities”, and also criticised them for signing a declaration to protect Christian and Alawite groups.
Det spekuleres i om drapet kan bety en eskalering av borgerkrigen på opprørernes side. Det er jihadistene som har kunnet lokke med moderne våpen og lønninger. Den frie syriske hær har ikke hatt mye å tilby.
“There is not enough strength in the FSA now to fight the groups. All the good fighters joined the Islamic groups because they could provide arms and a salary,” said Ahmed, a rebel in Syria’s Idlib province. “All the good leaders are there. If you ask me now, the FSA is empty and the future of Syria is finished”.