It has been obvious for some time now that if Bashar al-Assad is overthrown, the next big Syrian war will be fought between Al Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army. There’s no room for both. (There’s no room for anyone to co-exist peacefully with Al Qaeda.)
It made a certain amount of sense for them to wait until Assad is out of the way, but they might start fighting sooner than that.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels said on Friday the assassination of one of their top commanders by al Qaeda-linked militants was tantamount to a declaration of war, opening a new front for the Western-backed fighters struggling against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Rivalries have been growing between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamists, whose smaller but more effective forces control most of the rebel-held parts of northern Syria more than two years after pro-democracy protests became an uprising.
«We will not let them get away with it because they want to target us,» a senior FSA commander said on condition of anonymity after members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant killed Kamal Hamami on Thursday.
«We are going to wipe the floor with them,» he said.
Yesterday I wrote that nobody can really know anything about the future, but it’s pretty unlikely that Al Qaeda will suddenly learn to play well with others.