Several armies and factions had made an appearance and then disappeared from the Syrian scene over the past five years. One figure indicates that more than 1,200 armed groups were present in 2012 and they received support from several American, European and Arab sources. However, the field map seems different these days as some armed groups have disappeared for good, and others merged into larger organizations such as the Islamic State, Al-Islam Army, An-Nusra Front, the Free Army, Ahrar al-Sham and so on and so forth.
The most recent “star” on the Syrian arena consists of the “New Syrian Army” that has started to make the headlines these days for fighting some fierce battles against the Islamic State… Clearly, as the USA has enhanced its wars against the State in the past days and weeks both in Syria and Iraq, it has been relying on two main armies for its war in Syria: the Syrian Democratic Army that includes a Kurdish majority formed by the Kurdish Protection Units that belong to the Democratic Union Party under Saleh Muslim in addition to an Arab minority; and the New Syrian Army, which includes Arab members mostly belonging to the Originality and Development front, a front affiliated to the Free Syrian Army in addition to some Salafist members.
Interestingly, the US military command has distributed the roles across these two armies… While the Democratic Syrian Army mainly operates in the northwestern part of Syria to fight ISIL…, the New Syrian Army is fighting the State and its forces in the Syrian East. This group is likely being used as a Trojan horse in the attack on Reqqa under an American air cover and support… The American “uncle” is in control of the game. It doesn’t want the Democratic Syrian army to invade Reqqa to prevent any sensitive reactions from the Arab people there. Thus, the New Syrian Army was quickly established to take over this mission… In paradox, the two concerned armies’ missions…are confined, at least for the time being, to fighting the Islamic State organization. In other terms, they are not engaged in any war against the regime’s Syrian Arab army…
We are not sure if the American and western-supported New Syrian Army will have better luck than the Free Syrian Army and whether it will proceed for a long while on the Syrian arena or not. If it does stick around, then will it be the American alternative for the Syrian Arab Army in case a political settlement is reached? It is difficult to provide an answer to these questions. But the interesting part is the absence of any official, clear position concerning this new army on the part of the Syrian military command in Damascus. Does this silence indicate an approval [of the new army] or is it an attempt at preventing any new fronts in these difficult times…?