How Syria’s Rebels Aren’t Winning the War: The Anatomy of a Battle

This is a terrific article detailing the battle in Idlib province. Once again, it is disunity that cripples the rebels.


The short message screeched over a walkie-talkie, prompting the half a dozen rebels in the room who had been lounging on flat mattresses and drinking tea to jump to their feet, grab their guns and run out of the door. It was almost 7:30 p.m. Ten men in civilian garb had just sneaked out of the Syrian army’s Zahlanee checkpoint some 500 m away from the rebel position, just across an olive grove, and were now moving toward a cave on the outskirts of the grove. The cave had been a rebel position at one point. “They told them not to be late,” the voice over the walkie-talkie said, relaying what he had heard from a transmitter set to intercept Syrian Army communications, “so they’re not defectors. They’re not trying to defect. They’re planning something, but what I don’t know.”

A rebel named Ahmad picked up a BKC machine gun…

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