My question from the post above - which Sunnites then are the better option? You’ve got JaI/JaT/aN/AQ/ISIS on the ground, while the nominally all-Syrian SDF are actually Kurds and Assyrians.
Agreed, but to whom are you sending a message? Assad is not some rogue dictator anymore who needs to be sent a message.
If anything he’s a puppet now. Alawite casualties in the meat grinder were so heavy during the past three years that despite back-to-the-wall morale booster, “government forces” seem to be mostly Russian mercenaries/Russian official troops/IRGC/Hezbollah/forced Afghan Shiite conscripts.
Assad isn’t the one making the calls anymore. If “government” forces deployed WMDs it was most definitely approved in Moscow and Tehran.
I would weigh 1300 years of history against one sentence designed to elicit a PR boon.
Yes, that’s the most heartbreaking part of the situation on the ground - women and men who defeated ISIS with mostly antiquated Soviet weaponry are now being killed by AQ with the support of Turkish hardware.
Also, Lebanese Christians are getting really pissed after they’ve realized the West (and Israel) side with the Saudis and their vision for the Fertile Crescent.