The al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (the Succor Front) not only took the territory of the moderate Muslim Syria Revolutionaries Front this weekend, it also polished off the Movement of the Resolute .
The Movement of the Resolute (Harakat al-Hazm) represented itself as secular, but had its roots in a fundamentalist group backed by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the “Time of Muhammad” Front.
Last spring the Movement of the Resolute revealed that it had American TOW anti-tank batteries and access to other weapons. The TOWs were apparently supplied to them via Qatar or Turkey with American acquiescence.
Syrian al-Qaeda has swept into rural Idlib Province, taking over the checkpoints of the Free Syrian Army miderates.
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This development is so disturbing because the current Obama administration plan is to train and arm the very sorts of people who were just defeated by al-Qaeda. The introduction of American heavy weapons into the midst of a civil war is not a very healthy development, since weapons inevitably travel between groups (through graft or conquest). We have just been given a preview of something that could happen a lot– migration of US heavy weaponry and even “moderate” fighters– to ISIL and al-Qaeda.