June 1, 2013

The FSA And The Kurds Continue To Fight Each Other

Over the past several months, sectarian extremist groups acting under the official umbrella name of the "Free Syrian Army" have attacked Kurdish towns and engaged Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) forces in northern Syria, who are protecting the Kurdish region and seek to create a Kurdish nation by joining with their counterparts in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.

Unlike the Kurds, who are natural inhabitants of the region, the Jihadist fighters in the FSA hail from many different countries in the Muslim world, which makes them invaders, not liberators. They remind me of Mongols, especially when they commit cannibalistic acts like ripping people's chests open and eating their hearts. This type of naked barbarism is produced by a hateful sectarian ideology that is supported by elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Europe, Israel, and the United States.

The Salafist-Jihadist groups also show blatant disregard for the lives and property of common people, regardless of their religious or ethnic background. Last week, 700 Kurdish civilians were kidnapped by the Salafist-Jihadist groups.

The excerpt below from David Meseguer's article, "Arabs join Kurdish militia in Aleppo," shows that the popularity of the FSA is falling below the popularity of Assad's regime and the PYD:
“They say I am a traitor because I joined the Kurds; they say that I’ve forgotten my origins, and who I am”, complains Mohammed, an Arab fighter who defected the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to join the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG). “The FSA has forgotten its core mission, fighting the regime. Now some members are looting and threatening civilians”, explains this 22 years old from Aleppo.
Measuring the strength and effectiveness of the FSA and PYD is difficult at this point because it is still very early in the fighting. Here is how I see it.

The Jihadist groups in the FSA receive military and financial support from the West, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. Their stockpile of arms, including chemical weapons, along with regular infusions of cash from the Gulf states, will enable them to spread their terrorism long after Assad is gone.

The FSA also has a surplus of naive and gullible fighters who can be shipped around at a moment's notice and disposed of in as many misguided missions as the FSA's leadership sees fit. Many of them, however, are undisciplined warriors and do not act with a single purpose, so they're not that intimidating in battle. And they are even worse outside of the battlefield. They have a sectarian and racist outlook, making them highly unpopular with the liberal youth and secular-minded people.

Another weakness of the FSA is they do not know what they are fighting for other than to overthrow Assad, which means they are driven by pure hatred rather than by love for something greater than themselves.

On the other hand, the Kurdish PYD fighters appear to be more disciplined, mentally centered, and united. They have a vision for a post-Assad Syria that does not include targeting people because of their religion.

In a single battle in late May between the FSA and the PYD in the Kurdish region, 38 FSA members were killed and three PYD members. It is hard to calculate what is gained by both sides from such battles, other than battle experience and confidence. The obvious negative is that it diverts their attention away from their main foe - the Assad regime.  

Read the following articles for more information about the ongoing conflict between the FSA and the Kurds in Syria:
Youssef Sheikho - Border Clashes Pit FSA Against Kurds.
Susannah George - In Syria, Two Opponents Of The Regime Fight Each Other.
David Meseguer - Arabs join Kurdish militia in Aleppo.

II. From The Mongols To Jihadist Terrorists: The Kurdish Tradition of Resistance To Barbaric Invaders.

Below is an excerpt from a book by Major Sheikh A. Waheed called, "The Kurds And Their Country: A History of the Kurdish People From Earliest Times To The Present." University Book Agency: Lahore, Pakistan. 1955. Pg. 81-82; 91-92.
"History proves that the only people that the Mongols got really frightened of and the only people who gave a determined resistance to the Mongols and beat them in their own game, employing the same tactics as the Mongols did, were the Kurds. The only country that the Mongols dare not pollute by their beastly acts was the Kurdish land.

There could be many reasons for this unusual fear in the heart of the Mongols about the Kurdish people, but one stands out most prominently. It is the great similarity in the way of life, the traditions, and the tribal and nomadic aspect of their life. The inhospitability of their land and hence the immense capacity of a Kurd to bear hardship is the same as that of a Mongol. It was a case of a diamond cut a diamond. Second important reason is the fact that the Mongols in the time of Halaku Khan---the great grandson of Temujin (Genghis Khan) got a real decisive defeat, on 3 September 1260 at Ayn Jalut in Palestine only due to the heroic charge of the Kurdish Cavalry employed by Sultan Baybars, the Turkish Mamluk rulers of Egypt. Contemporary records show that a Kurdish warrior had become an absolute terror to the barbarian Mongol and let this not be forgotten that a Mongol was very hard to be frightened. While killing an animal, the Mongol never would cut its throat, but instead used to fasten the limbs of the animal and with a sword rip open the chest of the live healthy animal and would take its heart out first. The dripping hot blood was sucked out of the heart like a juice from a luscious fruit and the still throbbing heart was passed from hand to hand till the last drop of blood was sucked out. In the meantime the animal would die and only then was its carcase cut and put in a pot. Yes, to such a barbarian Mongol, the Kurdish horsemen gave such a stout resistance and a crushing defeat that for the first time in history the barbarian horde. . . had to turn its face and plan seriously for a quick retreat. (Pg. 81-82).
"The plains and hills of Hamadan were populated by the Kurdish tribes who in their courage, indomitable wall and with their limitless capacity to bear hardships, were the most befitting counterpart to the brutal Mongols. According to Sharaf Namah and also according to the local songs, the Mongols camped four miles away from the city of Hamadan. Tuli had hardly got settled when the fierce sturdy Guran Kurds started sporadic attacks on Tuli's camp. The Mongols, as usual decided to exterminate the Guran Kurds and hence sent strong forces in pursuit.

Here again the Kurds proved the finest match to Genghis Khan's indomitable force. The Mongols (as the Chinese today) had mastered the tactics of 'deep penetration'; and of "luring the enemy." But here, the Kurds, for the first time in history, instead of being lured by Tuli's tactics, drew the Mongol forces to the ground of their own choosing and in the mountainous region near Kermanshah, the complete force of Tuli was annihilated. This ignominious defeat of the "great Khan's" army greatly perturbed Genghis Khan and he immediately recalled Tuli and hurried back to quell a revolt of the Mongols in his home town in the Gobi desert. It was therefore the indomitable courage of Guran Kurds that saved Baghdad from the most probable complete destruction. If Baghdad was lost, then there being a complete power vacuum beyond Mesopotamia, the Mongol destruction would have most certainly reached North Africa." (Pg.91-92).