The Syrian War just took another turn into weirdness. There are now reports that North Korean officers have joined Assad’s forces. This sets up the potential of the “Iron Fists of Juche” confronting al-Qaeda.
A Syrian opposition human rights organization claimed Monday that officers from the North Korean army are aiding Bashar Assad‘s forces in their fight against the rebels in Aleppo. According to the organization, a few of Assad’s civilian militia fighters revealed the presence of the North Korean officers in the war zones.
The Syrian regime has been claiming for a long time that among the rebels fighting it across the country there are many fighters from oversees, sent by “Syria’s enemies” such as Saudi Arabia, Israel or the US. Assad no longer denies his army is aided by thousands of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, who are assisting the Syrian army to ward off the rebels.
However, reports regarding North Korean officers in the field are relatively rare. In an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat, director of a Syrian human rights center, Rami Abed A-Rachman, said that the number of North Korean officers in Syria is unknown, although there are definitely between 11 and 15 Arabic speaking North Korean officers in Aleppo.
Abed A-Rachman, whose organization releases daily reports on the fighting in Syria since the civil war broke out more than two years ago, said that “the North Korean officers are spread throughout many fronts, including the Syrian Defense Ministry factories southeast of Aleppo and in the regime’s forces centers in Aleppo.”
Even funnier, there are reports Hezbollah are now manning Syrian Tanks.
Meanwhile there has been an escalation in the participation of Hezbollah in the civil war in Syria, as troops affiliated with the Shiite militant group now operate tanks of Bashar Assad’s regime army in their battles against insurgent near the rebel-held town of Qusair in western Syria. Arab sources told Ynet this represents a precedent for Hezbollah as it continues to boost its support of the embattled Syrian ruler.
Hezzies in tanks, next thing you know we will hear about al-Qaeda manning artillery. Actually, they already are!
The Syrian War has become a battle of the lowlife of humanity. Here are the players in the Syrian War.
The Government Forces: The Army of Bashar Assad, Iranian Basij, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shia loyal to Malaki, Yemeni Shia, Afghan Hazaras, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and North Korea.
Foreign Backers are Russia, China and Algeria.
The Rebel Forces: The Free Syrian Army (Muslim Brotherhood), Al Nusra Front (Syrian al-Qaeda), The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Foreign al-Qaeda), Defected Syrian soldiers, Hamas, Lebanese Sunni militants, The Taliban (yes they are here), Chechen Rebels, Ansar al-Sharia (Libyan al-Qaeda), PKK, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga.
Foreign Backers are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Lebanese Maronites, Moqtada al-Sadr, UK, France and the United States
Israel is the wild card.
No word yet if Charles Johnson will intervene in the conflict.
(Hat Tip: Speranza)
The resistance of Al Nusra and the FSA at Qusayr has taken many by surprise. Hezbollah and the Syrian Army expected a quick victory. Instead the rebels have held their own and have bloodied the forces of Assad and his Lebanese Shia allies.
As of Monday night, Syrian government forces, backed by hundreds, if not thousands, of Hezbollah fighters were still locked in battle with rebel forces opposing President Bashar Assad in and around the disputed town, having failed to make a decisive victory.
The staying power of the rebel forces, vastly outnumbered and outgunned in the face of elite Syrian forces with superior weaponry and airpower has defied predictions by military analysts who foresaw a swift defeat for opposition forces.
“The rebels certainly need to be given credit for determination. What they have done so far was against the odds,” said Jeff White, a senior defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Claims that Syrian forces had taken the center of Qusair and up to 80 percent of the 25,000-strong town after initially storming it on May 19 were swiftly denied by rebel groups and activists, in what some put down to a morale-boosting exercise.
By last week, as Hezbollah losses mounted, it was clear the battle was far from over.
Maybe the “Iron Fists of Juche” will make an appearance at Qusayr!
Here is a video of Al Nusra and the FSA fighting the forces of Assad and Hezbollah at Qusayr.