What is it they say about all is fair in love and war? You can argue the merits and negatives of that statement but it seems that in Syria the all is fair in war part is being acted upon.
There may be no official war, civil or otherwise, declared as yet but that is what is happening. Fighting on a daily basis if you live in an affected area of Syria is war. The problem for the West is assessing just who these so called rebels are. The West wants Assad ousted but surely we should want to know that his successor will not be more of the same, or god forbid worse?
Today there have been worrying reports from Syria. They point to the fact that there could be some truth in allegations that the rebels are behind some attacks originally thought to have been carried out by the Assad regime.
The first incident was reported by Alex Thomson, chief correspondent for Channel 4 News, in the UK. With reporting restrictions in Syria it is vital that journalists keep undercover. Alex and his co travellers were to return to the safety of government lines, in the Syrian town of Qusair. The rebels leading them pretended to lead the party to safety. In fact they were leading them into a free-fire zone in the hope that the regime would maime or kill them. This it was hoped would fuel the West's belief that the Assad regime are killing all and sundry.
On a Channel 4 blogspot Alex wrote, "I'm quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army."
Yesterday, Sunday June 10, 2012, Russia Today claimed that the Syrian rebels now have a supply of chemical weapons. The chemical weapons are believed to have originally belonged to Libya. The claim is that the Syrian rebels plan to use the weapons against the Syrian people so that Assad will be blamed.
Amongst all of the allegations there are the nonsensical ones and the truth. The problem for the West is detrmining which is which.
The UN monitoring team currently in Syria has been unable to ascertain who was responsible for recent killings. The rebels know that if they carry out attacks the regime will respond. Assad told the UN that the regime would do so during the monitoring process. This means that the rebels can manipulate the situation if they want to. Recently it has been claimed that those killed have been at the hands of the rebels. In these cases the murdered it is claimed are those loyal to Assad.
As the West considers its next steps which include arming the Syrian rebels further they should hold back. Until the West knows just who these rebels are interference could easily backfire.
Back in March there were reports that some of the rebels had kidnapped, tortured and executed people loyal to Assad.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog