“The Battle for Syria” on Frontline – Excellent Reporting

For all those interested in current events in Syria, I recommend the new Frontline documentary “The Battle for Syria.” Another excellent piece of reporting again featuring Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, previously seen in Frontline’s feature on Yemen.

If you are a journalist wondering if you are the best war reporter, the answer is ‘No’. At best, you are #2. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is clearly the best out there and has provided two in-depth accounts this year documenting critical battles in Yemen and Syria. Amazing reporting on his part.

Here’s the first video:

Watch The Battle for Syria on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

I also highly recommend Ghaith’s interview with NPR, which is where a lot of the good nuggets come from. Ghaith provides a good discussion on how Islamists and Secular rebels cooperate right now against the Asad regime but are likely to fight each other upon Asad’s fall. For those that have partaken in the “Should the West support the Syrian rebels?” debate here at this blog, here is Ghaith’s take on what the U.S. should be doing in Syria.

On the American approach to Syria

“I think [the U.S. is] taking the worst approach at the moment. They are not openly supporting the rebels, while they are, from under the table, coordinating with the rebels, letting their allies send them a trickle of weapons — the weapons are neither enough for the rebels to win nor for them to be defeated.

“So you have this prolonged conflict and mainly because of — not only the West, but the whole international community — paralysis of the Syrian situation. For months, the activists, the people were demonstrating in the streets, but no one wanted to touch the Syrian uprising because they feared it might change the balances in the Middle East. …

“So I think a big opportunity was missed when the activists were not supported, with the paralysis of the international community, allowing Russia, China and Iran to play a huge, big role in this conflict, allowing the Saudis and Qataris to sponsor militias and send weapons. So [the U.S. is] neither supporting the rebels, nor … stopping this conflict.”

For those interested in a detailed breakdown, see this interactive map on “The Battle for Syria”.

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