syria the guardian looting feuds and divided loyalties threaten to destroy unity of armed groups as war enters new phase

Advertisment

The Guardian: Looting, feuds and divided loyalties threaten to destroy unity of armed groups as war enters new phase

It wasn’t the government that killed the Syrian armed groupsl commander Abu Jameel. It was the fight for his loot. The motive for his murder lay in a great warehouse in Aleppo which his unit had captured a week before. The building had been full of rolled steel, which was seized by the armed groups as spoils of war.
But squabbling developed over who would take the greater share of the loot and a feud developed between commanders. Threats and counter-threats ensued over the following days.
Abu Jameel survived one assassination attempt when his car was fired on. A few days later his enemies attacked again, and this time they were successful. His bullet-riddled body was found, handcuffed, in an alley in the town of al-Bab.
“It is extremely sad. There is not one government institution or warehouse left standing in Aleppo. Everything has been looted. Everything is gone.”
According to Hussam and other commanders, and armed groups interviewed by the Guardian over a fortnight in northern Syria, a new phase has been reached in the war. Looting has become a way of life.
“Spoils” have now become the main drive for many units as battalion commanders seek to increase their power.
 

Advertisment