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Why arming rebels will fuel Syria's inferno

Arming Syria’s rebels is a dangerous move that will only result in prolonging the war and potentially empowering extremists.
Rebel fighters fire their weapons at the frontline against forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in al-Amriyah neighbourhood of Aleppo October 11, 2014. REUTERS/Hosam Katan    (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY CONFLICT) - RTR49S8W

The Syrian conflict is taking yet another dramatic turn as the militant jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, rout rebels from their strongholds in Idlib, threatening to eliminate entirely any presence by moderate rebels in northern Syria, as the Islamic State has already done in the east.

The focus is now turning to Aleppo, where rebels are making their last stand against both the encroaching forces of the regime and the jihadists. Will they be left to face their fate alone as in Idlib, or will someone come to their rescue? If yes, who and how? If the French and Turks have their way, they might yet be saved, but at present it appears that the United States has finally given up on its former rebel allies, writing them off completely.

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