There are no significant improvements noticed with regards to the discipline of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) recruits in any place or region of Syria. On the contrary, quite all of our appeals had gone in vain besides the increasing tone of resentment and fury amongst the public and activists. It has reached to an extent where there were protests in several areas calling for reforms between the lines of FSA as well as in their ethical codes of treatment with each other; i.e, recruits and battalions; and also with the unarmed civilians.
At this point of time, It is no longer acceptable to say that this battalion or that armed group are taking over the revolution under FSA’s umbrella and in its name. Those violations and wrongful actions are being perptrated by some well-known battalions and troops. As for the other intruder groups, it has become inexplicable why are they left to commit such thuggish and humiliating actions against the civilians in areas where there are other battalions of FSA.
In addition, we can barely sense any sort of authority for the local councils upon those battalions or their leaders. Not to mention that the latters have no power upon on their own militants. The past-due funds that were received lately are still being handled and distributed randomly without being accounted for plus the fact that nepotism and favoritism play major roles on how those funds get allocated.
A lot of the “good” battalions who have decorum and clear intentions are left hanging in there with minimal funding and unable to confront the other battalions despite their sincere commitment to the revolution. In the other hand, groups of volunteering fighters are getting huge amounts of funds while the ones of defected recruits are getting none. Also, the ideologist groups are being favorited over the patriots who are only loyal to a Free Syria!
This chaos is a bad omen for our revolution whether we admit it or choose to bury our heads under the ground. The situation is worsening given the regime’s systematic strategy of randomly destroying the civilians homes and properties, burning and looting the local markets and the terrifying
torture techniques of detainees. These factors are resulting in civilians pleading the battalions to leave their areas to find salvation from the regime’s fatal shelling. This has happened in several cities and areas of Damascus Suburbs, Daraa and many more. I am not a military expert and I cannot analyze and evaluate the possibility of moving recruits to the outskirts of residential areas to protect the innocents from the regime’s havoc and I will never give my opinion in such matters.
On the other hand, FSA leaders must be aware of the tremendous pressures that the civilians endure especially the massive loss of lives and properties. In fact, they should help in mitigating those pressures. For instance, what really might help if a group of them bring back the old days when the people incubated and embraced FSA for several months. This is not being accomplished when the civilians’ complaints are being continuously ignored by both the leaders and members of FSA. Besides the lack of the minimum levels of organization and coordination between the troops of the same area, there is no declared code of ethics or regulations to be adhered to by all recruits of FSA.
Just like in the old days when civilians supported the fighters and provided a public base for them, they can similarly help in many other things nowadays. This is conditional upon FSA responding to their appeals and complaints by forming independent committees of activists in every area to investigate into local issues, naming specific committees of unbiased members to receive complaints and also by allowing the residents to do some sort of supervision of the fighters and holding the battalions accountable for matters that affect the people’s lives, properties and freedoms.
Undoubtedly, local activists were far behind in defending their own selves and their areas, where a lot of them decided to abandon their responsibilities and join the troops or letting go of their civil duties and leaving them for the fighters to manage. Furthermore, the local committees were weakened and local councils didn’t play their assumably designated roles not even in the liberated areas.
Only recently and in a few areas both the fighters and civilians have become aware of their dependency on each other and they started seeking out to reconcile their issues. However, this is limited in numbers of areas and battalions involved. Moreover, the civilians’ appeals are not organized
in their demands and not agreed on by all parties not to mention that they do not provide feasible solutions to their own problems which is something that needs to be worked on and taken care of in the near future.
Nonetheless, this won’t relieve FSA of its responsibility towards the people and doesn’t give them the right to turn a blind eye on all the complaints against them. If this wasn’t a priority to FSA then it should! At least for the sake of those who loved and cheered for them. Those who protected FSA recruits in their own homes and hearts before having their own homes shelled and burnt down by the vicious regime. You are the defenders of our nation so bring back the meaning of that slogan to live