The Three Front War in Syria
What was feared and then suspected is now true. There is three front war in Syria. There are the Syrian forces under Assad trying to hold on with help from Iran\Russia, These forces fight primarily the Free Syrian Army, who hope to have a sort of democratic state with free elections, The FSA has the Nusra group, that is affiliated with al-Qaeda somehow- probably funding. These two elements have already fought one another for local turf. Now, there is another group-ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq al-Sham, whose sole focus recently has been attacking the FSA.
Don't misunderstand, all of these groups want Assad to leave or be killed, but until that happens, they also mistrust and hate one another to degrees. ISIS views the Syrian fighting as a larger Sunni war that must control Syria before they can conquer other nations. These Sunnis have declared war on anyone not Sunni. They are even more harsh and extreme than the Nusra group, which may have its own secret agenda once Assad falls, but until then, the tolerate the FSA who want democracy. ISIS use the burnt earth policy when they enter villages or towns, they destroy anything not Sunni.
The ISIS group in Syria is between 7-10,000. They fought the FSA for control of Raqqa, originally seized by Nusra, after several days, the FSA retreated and ISIS took control of this key city in northern Syria. ISIS continued to advance and fought the FSA for Azaz, near the Turk border and other border towns. If ISIS controls them, the flow of arms or anything from Turkey can be halted or taken. The FSA is finding itself more often fending off Assad's attacks one day and then those from ISIS. However, ISIS will attack Syrian forces if they are in the area, also. In fact, ISIS will first deal with Syrian forces and once resolved, attack the FSA!
The Obama debacle about the redline has worked in their favor. The FSA had hoped that a military strike would help them, when it did not occur, ISIS used America's impotency as propaganda not to rely on the US. In the days that followed, ISIS raided several arms depots of the FSA taking ammo and weapons in the Hama area.The FSA is getting weaker and weaker as the al-Qaeda foreign fighters arrive from Iraq with nothing to halt them.
One could foresee one day Assad using chemical weapons on ISIS. ISIS is intent on creating an Islamic state within Syria. Al-Qaeda is funneling men and arms for a Sunni state. To think that Syria is going to give up all of its chemical weapons in face of what is coming is ludicrous. Chemical weapons are its last gasp weapon to save the kingdom. To think that rebels or Islamist terrorists are not trying to get these weapons or may have them is wishful thinking. Somehow, they will as the Syrian war turns more and more into a three front war.