Talk:Syrian civil war/Archive 28

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SOHR claims getting in, again

The last paragraph of the current timeline - referring to alleged army attack on Talkalakh - is based only on SOHR claims. EkoGraf keeps adding that piece back (violating 1RR by the way), saying that we can use unreliable sources in case there is no coverage in reliable ones.

Following such rules, I guess I could add dozens of events, which have been reported in PressTV, but not in other media. --Emesik (talk) 14:53, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

This issue was discussed at least a dozen times over the past two years. PressTV has been declared by both Wikipedia and most editors to be an unreliable source. As for SOHR, Wikipedia has not taken a definitive stance, while editors have agreed to use SOHR as a source when there is a lack of reliable sources on an event. Reason - because SOHR is regarded by a number of reliable international media (BBC, Reuters, AP, AFP, Guardian, Independent, etc) as a good source of info on the conflict (authoritative as several of them have described SOHR), and that's why you will see their reports during most of the coverage of the war. Unlike, in my opinion, the even more heavily biased pro-opposition LCC group which I have noticed only CNN is using in large quantities as a source of info on the clashes and deaths. EkoGraf (talk) 19:16, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

The "reliable" media use SOHR as a source for two reasons. First is that they do not have own reporters there and very often SOHR is their only excuse to generate articles and earn money. They still have to eat and reliability is not the top priority. Being cited still doesn't make SOHR even a bit more accurate and reliable. It's still an entity of unknown organization, based in some grocery store in London, with no clear channels of information, no editorial policy and - the most important - well known for pro-rebel bias.
The second reason why SOHR is being cited in mainstream media is even more worrying. The reason is that SOHR publishes news which fit the predominant western view of the conflict very well. And yes, I'm saying here that the image of the conflict in most of the western media is biased.
The most important is that we agreed to use SOHR as a source for death tolls only, not for any information about territorial gains and other military events. Even this month I asked all of you to define clear guidelines on how we use unreliable sources in face of lack of media coverage. You didn't say a word in that discussion, still you come up with some other idea. Could you please then give a link to a discussion where decisions have been made? --Emesik (talk) 20:45, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

CNN uses sources that back up the ideology of its investors (i.e. the Saudis). CNN uses sources that promote the cause of the FSA. SOHR is not reliable. It's one dude in his mom's basement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

And more, the Talkalakh news has not been confirmed by any secondary source, even though two days have passed already. --Emesik (talk) 20:48, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
A reporter from the Independent went into the town and witnessed no rebel presence or any ongoing fighting. Just the Army in control and people talking about a peaceful transition of power at the end of last week during which the rebels retreated or melted away. [1] EkoGraf (talk) 19:50, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Good, then we use that source—not SOHR. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 22:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
At the very least, SOHR details on territorial gains/losses/etc. should be restricted to battle pages. The quality of this page is questionable enough as is; let's not drag it down further with direct partisan media sourcing. Especially for the mainpage, it's important to wait for events to unfold and be confirmed rather than bloating it with newsticker updates. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 21:23, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
I removed the reference. If the event isn't relevant enough to be covered by secondary sources, it isn't relevant enough to be covered in the article. Secondary sources should always be required. TippyGoomba (talk) 02:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Seems its relevant enough [2]. EkoGraf (talk) 19:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
So thus the secondary source is used. Simple, really. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 22:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The article of EkoGraf is very important, this battle deserves an article or agreement given the strategic importance of the city Rogal Dorm (talk) 06:51, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is a need for an article. Because, per the source, there really was no battle for the town. The rebels simply lost the will to fight after Qusayr and gave up under a withdrawal agreement. I think its enough that we mentioned the capture of the town here in the main article in one paragraph. EkoGraf (talk) 07:16, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Okay but the surrender of the rebels ends the siege of the town. This city is of strategic importance to both sides for reasons already mentioned, it would be unfortunate if the information is lost main article Rogal Dorm (talk) 10:58, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Go ahead and draft a separate article in your sandbox. TippyGoomba (talk) 15:15, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Still defending the one-man UK-based activist (not journalist) organization "SOHR" as a a reliable source? Wow, how biased, sectarian and unreliable is WP getting with that type of "sources". I hope that Facebook aint still being used by some editors, breaking all WP rules...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 15:38, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Garbage estimates of opposition strength

I don't understand why under strength we have 50-80,000, but when you click on the link to the FSA page it estimates 60-140,000. For one those numbers are lies and two it isn't even consistent.

Same thing with Syrian Islamic front. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:01, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The numbers we give are sourced. The 50k is from here and the 80k from here. Where did you find 60k-140k? TippyGoomba (talk) 15:20, 28 June 2013 (UTC)


1) No evidence of that other than anti-PYD activists and clueless journalists incorrectly referring to the PYD as "PKK".
2) That was true for a while, but it seems that there may be some internal splits emerging: [3]
3) You're right, that should be changed. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 21:59, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Why is this pro opposition article

1.In the government offensive there is no mention of the offensives in Homs and Damascus these are pro-opposition sources and they say that the government is on the offensive.No mention of the capture of Al-Qariatayn

2.No mention of foreign support for the government.Syria has no Defence industry so it relies on ammunition and weapons form Russia and Iran.Russia is providing the government with tons of weapons and ammunition including new tanks, ERA armor (the brics on the tanks previously syria had only a 100 with that kind of armor now almost every tank has them),small arms for its militias, bombs for its jets and shells for the tanks and artilery.

3.Size of armed forces.The armed forces number is not corect even though media want to present that is the real number.There is no mention for the airforce numbers which has air cavlary brigades and airborne troops brigades witch are fighting the FSA are not mentioned(it has around 60000 men + 20000 reserve)no mention of reserve forces like Division 17 in Al-Raqqa there is no mention of the Lijan Militia, Hezbolah forces are much larger "Elsewhere in Syria, Hezbollah is operating largely alongside local Shi'ite communities, so it has guides with an excellent local knowledge," he said, adding that he believed several thousand from a total Hezbollah fighting force of 10,000 were operating inside Syria. Reports from Lebanon and Europe place the estimated number of Hezbollah fighters within Syria at up to 4,000 in support of Assad's forces. It is worth noting that other estimates on Hezbollah fighters in Syria vary from as little as 2,000 to as much as 10,000

I think that the right number should be for 2000-10000 cuz they operate in Alepo in Nubl and Zahra, in Homs province in Damascus,and in Seyad Zeynab — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:22, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

We have been fully updating the page with the offensives in Homs and Damascus. Qariatyn is mentioned in the June 23 area.
We don't mention Russia support in the infobox because it is an international trade exchange. For example, if Qatar was selling weapons, instead of giving, we wouldn't list Qatar.
The current amount of people in the air force is simply not updated. No one has given a figure for Lijan militia (which have been turned into the NDF). I believe it was EkoGraf who set the Hezbollah figure, so ask him. Sopher99 (talk) 12:32, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Kurds in the Infobox

I have separated the Kurdish Democratic Union Party forces from the Syrian Opposition column. According to the latest AP feature story: [4]

"Taking advantage of the chaos of the civil war, Syria's Kurdish minority has carved out a once unthinkable degree of independence in their areas, creating their own police forces, even their own license plates, and exuberantly going public with their language and culture.

But by pursuing their own path distinct from both the opposition and the regime, they are also colliding with Sunni rebels, who have increasingly clashed with Kurdish militiamen. Rebels have besieged a pocket of Kurdish towns and villages in the mainly Sunni Arab corner of northwest Syria for weeks, leading to reports of shortages of food and medicine."

After a brief look in the archives, it appears that a good majority of editors supported making the third column for the Kurds, well before the latest Kurd vs. Rebel clashes. --Tocino 07:08, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

There is no consensus to do this. The Mujihideen pursues their own distinct path from the opposition. They have their own courts, their own police force, their own laws, and their own culture. So unless we make a Fourth column, kurds stay in second. Sopher99 (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
This Civil war is not defined by reliables sources as a three way battle. It is defined as the Syrian government versus its opponents.
I should also mention that Al nusra went on full war with Ghurub al Sham, destroying that organization. Doesn't mean we put Ghurub al Sham as a third column. Sopher99 (talk) 08:12, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I suggest that instead of putting a third column, we put a note on the top of the page, saying "for Kurdistan conflict in Syria, see here" and give a link to the Kurdistan conflict page. Sopher99 (talk) 08:16, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

  • So let's have a vote. FunkMonk (talk) 11:27, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Support third column for Kurds. It was about time, and we've discussed this at length in the past. And please, Sopher, you don't get to "define" this war, so cut out the bullshit. Your arguments are invalid. The Kurds are listed as a separate force with no allies by all mainstream media, and fight the "rebels" more than the government. Regardless of some Islamist infighting, they usually cooperate, so it doesn't apply for them. And no, the Kurds don't want Assad to fall, they just want autonomy in their regions, they couldn't care less whether Assad rules the rest of Syria or not. Therefore, they have no common goal with the Islamist rebels:/FSA FunkMonk (talk) 11:27, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Unambiguous support. Now that the Tawhid Brigade (prominent SILF members of SMC) has decided that it'd be an intelligent and productive move to launch an attack on the PYD-held enclave of Kurd Dagh just as the army sets its sights on Aleppo, the one-column presentation of Kurds and rebels looks even more stupid than it did before. At least 80 rebels and 11 YPG militia have died in the clashes—which are yet ongoing. Rebels have embargoed the entire region, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians (including many refugees from elsewhere in Syria) cut off from food and medicine. Same side, my ass. Lazy journalistic glosses of the conflict should be treated less seriously than sources which actually address the Kurdish role in this conflict. Not a single debate has reached any conclusion on the matter, largely due to the filibustering of a handful of editors, one of whom essentially self-identifies as a pro-opposition activist, so don't try to shut this down with a misapplied WP:STICK. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 17:03, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. In part per Lothar, but mainly because The Economist has started portraying the Kurds as a separate faction, as seen in the map and penultimate paragraph of this article from the latest issue. —Quintucket (talk) 17:09, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
In fact, pretty much all such maps show the Kurds as separate from the opposition. FunkMonk (talk) 17:14, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't mean they belong in a different column. No source describes this as a three way war. Sopher99 (talk) 08:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Joshua Landis, one of the most prominent scholars on Syria in the world, says the following when discussing plans for a peace agreement: The Three state solution: Divide the country into three, following the ethnic lines of the major combatant groups ... This would mean creating an Alawite, Sunni Arab, and Kurdish state. All you can provide are reductionistic simplifications used by lazy journalists. Next. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 11:51, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Heres a proposal for a solution. We put in bold on the top of the left column: Government and its allies , and on the right column Opposition groups or just plain Opposition.

We further put a note in the infobox itself that not all opposition groups are allies of each other. ie Kurds, Ghurub al Sham, Al nusra. ect Sopher99 (talk) 08:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Hah. Riddle me this: what preponderance of sources are defining the PYD as part and parcel of the "opposition"? Where does that leave parties like Azadi and Yekiti—an opposition within an opposition? JN and GhSh are closer to each other and the rest of the Arab rebels than to the PYD. We're talking a few sporadic scuffles versus battles leaving hundreds dead. In fact, in making this proposal, you've totally ignored the AP piece at the top of this section which says that Kurds are "pursuing their own path distinct from both the opposition and the regime". ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 11:51, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • So at this point, it is basically Sopher's home-made criteria versus what the sources actually say. I think the former can safely be disregarded. FunkMonk (talk) 11:56, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I would like to enter my opinion as a non-partisan editor who saw the past debates but was not part of them. I support a third column because the Kurds clearly have a separate motivation in the conflict and are a third column not just because they do not care who rules Syria so long as they have autonomy, but because they have fought both sides in the conflict. One does not fight one's own allies consistently. The opposition and the government would surely like to believe they have the Kurdish section of the country on their side, but this is a segment of Syrian society which is clearly not part of either the "opposition" or the government forces. --Respite From Revision (talk) 15:28, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Lets go by what the sources say

Kurds fighting alongside rebels

Kurds fighting each other

PYD leader Saleh Muslim declaring friendship with opposition, does not recognize nusra invaders as opposition rebels.

The Syrian cvil war is a conflict between the Government + its allies versus opposing groups. < second to last paragraph (I don't regard al-akhbar as a reliable source, but I know many others do)

The infobox is not saying there are no clashes between rebels groups. Why do you think we have a line between many many of them? What about Ghurub al Sham, wouldn't that need a fourth column by the 3 column logic?

Take a look at the Iraq war page. Shiites and Sunnis on same column.

In conclusion, by reliable sources, logical methods, and by example, we should either label the left columns as Syrian government and its allies /or/ Pro-Assad forces and the right column as Opposition forces /or/ Insurgents

or just take out Kurds from the info box, and put a link to the Kurdistan conflict. Sopher99 (talk) 09:04, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Sopher. Please take a look at the infobox as it stands. Examine it closely. Direct your attention to the bottom of the right-hand column. See what it says. Does it say Kurds? Hm? No, it does not. It says clearly "Kurdish Democratic Union Party", whose YPG militia are the most significant Kurdish force on the ground by orders of magnitude, effectively ruling the vast majority of the de facto autonomous Kurdish zone in Syria.
This means that most of your sources are completely and totally irrelevant to the point you are trying and failing to argue. I'm not in the mood for fish today. Yes, there are ethnic Kurds fighting for the FSA. The founder of Ghuraba al-Sham was an ethnic Kurd, and Kurds are not totally deaf to calls for jihad, either. Some ethnic Kurds are probably still serving in the army as well. None of those has any bearing on the positioning of the PYD/YPG in the infobox. In fact, it's as pointless and stupid as when people suggest that we should add "Chechens" or "Saudis" to the infobox because a number of jihadis happen to be of those backgrounds. The fact that the PYD is repressive toward groups in the Kurdish opposition—not to be confused with the Syrian opposition, even (allegedly) rebel-sympathetic parties like Azadi and Yekiti have long since deserted that circus—is similarly immaterial. In fact, most of those sources make it pretty clear that the PYD/YPG are pretty fucking distant from the rebels.
Additionally, you clearly didn't bother to read your first source, which starts right off with: " The Kurdish Freedom Party is rejecting claims that its forces fought alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the People’s Defense Unit (YPG) during clashes last Friday." Oops. Not only is Azadi distancing itself (whether true or not) from the rebels, it clearly states that the YPG and the FSA were engaged in combat against one another. Clashes have occurred between the YPG and the rebels pretty much anywhere where the two groups have come into contact. Some clashes have stretched on for weeks and claimed hundreds of lives. Yammering about how jihadis sometimes scuffle with "FSA" or among each other just shows how little you understand the status of the PYD. The scales and scopes of rebel infighting and of combat between the YPG and rebel groups are in no way comparable. In fact, clashes between the YPG and loyalists are less frequent and less severe than those between the YPG and rebels. When you present two groups which spend more time fighting each other than their supposed "common enemy" (as that is what alignment suggests), you are presenting a factual error—a lie.
You keep squawking about sources. What sources are saying that the PYD/YPG should be split off from the war, that the conflict in the Kurdish regions of Syria is unrelated to the fighting across the country? Did the Tawhid Brigade step into a parallel universe in their recent aggression in Kurd Dagh? Boilerplate "over 9000 ppl die in dis war in which rebls fite govmint" paragraphs tossed in as afterthoughts near the end of news articles to satify word minima aren't indicative of anything other than laziness. Ideally, far down the road when this war ends and fades into memory and scholars step in to make quality sources, the amount of material here sourced to quasi-primary sources like news articles will shrink. WP:NEWSORG: "For information about academic topics, scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports". Articles having such reductionism and lacking mention of Kurds are particularly irrelevant.
TL;DR spend some time actually researching and following this aspect of the conflict instead of distorting, selectively ignoring, and creatively reading whatever sources come up in a Google search to spin a POV to impress the #FSA crowd on Twitter. Your "let's stick to what the sources say" sounds more like "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about so I'm going to just toss anything I can scrape up at you". ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 21:47, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Rebels have cut access to a Kurdish area in northern Syria and clashed with Kurdish nationalist PKK fighters whom they accuse of backing President Bashar al-Assad, sources on both sides said on Thursday.

The confrontation threatens to open a new front in Syria's 27-month-old civil war, in which Kurds, who form about 10 percent of the population, have so far played a limited role.

Fighting erupted overnight on the edge of Ifrin, a rugged, olive-growing area on the Turkish border, the sources said.

Four people were killed, bringing to at least 30 the death toll from battles and assassinations in the last few days.


Kurds are not part of the opposition they are mostly neutral this last report shows that kurds are not on the opposition sides so remove them from there allies list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Too few uninvolved people show up when these things are discussed, and that means Sopher and Future (and Sayerelle) can keep pushing their "one happy opposition (with token Kurds)" line, even though it goes against the sources. We need more uninvolved editors here, and perhaps admins. The article is basically conz-worded by three self-confessed pro-FSA activists, who make little effort to come up with credible sources or convincing arguments to support their stance here. So whatever the sources say, there will always be at least these three editors to tag-team revert anything that puts the armed opposition in a bad light. FunkMonk (talk) 23:52, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Sayerslle supports a third column, judging from his comments in the "Kurds" archive. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 00:32, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

@Lothar - you are right, - funkmonk has got my position on this matter, wrong.Sayerslle (talk) 20:25, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

There's two editors who've weighed in who weren't recently involved in this article: myself and Respite from Revision. We both stated support for a third column, based on the sources. I have noticed that they keep repeating themselves; making arguments that had already been addressed. It seems to me that they're the ones who are beating a dead horse. Just add the third column, and if they revert it in spite of the fairly clear consensus we can discuss other ways to deal with the issue. —Quintucket (talk) 00:49, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Including Tocino, who started this thread, that makes us five for (including all the sources) and two against, not to mention those in favour in the past. That seems legit. FunkMonk (talk) 00:58, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Latest: (Reuters) - Islamist rebels have cut access to a Kurdish area in northern Syria and clashed with Kurdish nationalist PKK fighters whom they accuse of backing President Bashar al-Assad, sources on both sides said on Thursday.[5] Common goal? Lawl. FunkMonk (talk) 04:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
The latest news supports our decision to add a third column while the opponents of that move bring up news from months ago in a war that changes every day. It's quite obvious that the Kurds have diverged from the other rebels over time. People use articles like this to understand the conflict and to learn more and to become educated on middle eastern affairs, and I think it's a disservice to those people to represent the Kurds as being a part of the main rebel alliance in the war. --Respite From Revision (talk) 12:23, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

I think they just should have 2 columns, because, even though the Kurds and Reberdes have faced each other, still fighting both against Assad govierno and not between them, so that deveria back to 2 columns. (talk) 00:36, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

That is completely wrong. The Kurds fight the "rebels" way more than the government. These days, they don't fight the government at all. Likewise, the government has no interest in attacking the Kurds. But the "rebels" do. The "rebels" want Assad gone at any cost, the Kurds don't care if he stays, as long as they have autonomy in their regions. FunkMonk (talk) 14:06, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Unambiguous support for the Kurds in a separate third column. They fight for the autonomy in their regions and they have no common goal with the rebels.

Gaston28 (talk) 17:08, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Unambiguous support for the Kurd forces in a separate third column. Per sources, facts and common sense...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 15:27, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Claimed Iranian involvement

As some editors had included Iranian forces as belligerents in the infobox (with no real proof, differently from the Hezbollah involvement, wich had been confirmed by Nasrallah), I found it severely dubious, if not something worse. For example, there had not been a single Iranian Army victim, while it had been Iraqi, Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian Army victims, with neither of that armies listed as belligerents. Moreover, in the strength subsection of the infobox the alleged Iranian forces are defined as military advisors. As far as I know, when a country send military advisors to a foreign war, they are listed as support, not as combatants. See for example Argentinian military advisors in the Guatemalan Civil War or Soviet military advisors in the Yom Kippur War. If someone could logically explain that perceived double standard...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 16:09, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

It was removed some time ago. FunkMonk (talk) 17:25, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
But Iran is still among belligerents, despite no confirmation of direct involvement and no casualties. Shouldn't we remove it? At the moment Spain has more verified record of its' citizens fighting in Syria than Iran does. --Emesik (talk) 18:13, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
We Should remove it because Iran is not directly involved. (talk) 22:21, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
The claim that Iranian troops are in Syria fighting on the side of assad is sourced. The sources refer to statements by a "US state department official" and some senior people from the Iranian military. Are there sources that contradict this? Have things since changed? Two of the three sources are less than two months old. TippyGoomba (talk) 02:36, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
There are sources which say the opposite. US State Department official is no more credible in this context. --Emesik (talk) 10:48, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
TippyGoomba, you had answered yourself by stating that what USA says in a claim, nothing more, nothing less. As others editors had pointed here there is not a single proof of that alleged Iranian involvement as a combatant force, I would say that even theres no proof of the role of Iranians as military advisers, and if that role could be confirmed, they should be moved to supporters instead of belligerents. Otherwise would be a clear case of POV-pushing...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 11:04, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Do you have sources I can look at? Emesik has already provided this. TippyGoomba (talk) 19:05, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
[6],[7],[8],[9]. Need more?.--HCPUNXKID (talk) 22:26, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
All this is just iranian officials denying, of course they are going to deny - but a few admit. Not to mention captured Iranian revolutionary guards, and the state department sources. Sopher99 (talk) 23:23, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
FSA claims of "captives" are not to be taken seriously either. FunkMonk (talk) 00:38, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't know why this source wasn't put in earlier. Hacked stafor emails published by wikileaks shows Iranian troop action as early as 2012.

So now we have a USA source, an Iranian source, a rebel source, and a source from wikileaks. Sopher99 (talk) 23:29, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

HCPUNXKID, three of the four sources you've given are old. This one is interesting. However, stacked up against other sources, I don't see a reason to remove Iran from the list of combatants. TippyGoomba (talk) 00:31, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

This is just silly nonsense. The Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute wrote a 40-page report on Iranian involvement.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 01:32, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, I'll repeat it again: If the Iranian forces are military advisors, why they are listed as combatants instead of supporters? Because, as I had pointed upwards, countries with military advisors on a foreign war are usually listed as supporters, not as combatants. Of course, if someone could give reliable sources confirming the Iranian involvement in combats (not Stratfor,FSA or an USA think thank source, wich are clearly biased. Its funny to see that sone editors claim that type of sources to be reliable when talking about their enemies, but simultaneously deny credibility of Press TV, for example), I would change my mind...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 11:54, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
The current sources are a may 2012 guardian source, an august 2012 foxnews source, and a may 2013 washingpost source. Recent sources disputing this claim are this presstv source and this source. Then there's this recent business insider piece which refers to leaked emails confirming Iranian involvement. I left our sources which I didn't think were relevant to the discussion (old and primary sources). I'm not sure what criteria is used to determine when someone ends up as merely a support but my impression is people are just making it up as we go along. I'd be interested to hear someone lay down a criteria. TippyGoomba (talk) 18:44, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that a general criteria must be made to define in wich occasions we called a foreign force in a war supporter and when belligerent, otherwise this will depend on the POV of the editors, and will happen the non-sense that military advisors are defined as supporters or combatants depending on the personal opinions and ideology of the editors.--HCPUNXKID (talk) 22:01, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I would say that belligerent is someone who directly uses military force to kill other party or damage their equipment. Still we have no hard evidence of such involvement of Iran. I'm pretty aware that Wikipedia is more about what sources say than about facts, but the sources aren't credible in this matter. Iranian military involvement is a similar story to the CIA arms supply: the other side says it happens. --Emesik (talk) 20:51, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Kurds and map

In the infobox, the kurds are now in a third column. However, the map (File:Syrian Civil War.svg) lumps together kurds and opposition. It would make sense to have a map with a different color for kurds. An easy way to achieve this, is to replace this map with the more detailed map (Template:Syrian civil war detailed map). That map has a good coverage of kurdish cities & towns, including cities with mixed control (kurds with others). The map could be put at the end of the article so as to occupy less space… Tradediatalk 21:26, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

That would also reflect what news sources do, which is separate the three. This article has been on the wrong track for too long, many POV errors have become deeply engrained. FunkMonk (talk) 22:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Would be better to add an additional color to the existing map (and a friendly one for people with color-blindness for that matter) than using the alternative proposed by Tradedia. Despite being more detailed and including three parties, the second map is a mess which I never found easy to navigate (too many things on the map, often not explained adequately in the key, not to mention the irritating aspect of red and green dots overlapping). Kkostagiannis (talk) 15:13, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
For better or for worse, the detailed map has effectively rendered the old Libya-style map obsolete. Whereas the detailed map receives near-daily updates, the old map sometimes goes weeks without an update. It's more accurate than virtually every other map I've encountered of the conflict outside of Wikipedia as well. It definitely has its shortcomings, but it's here to stay. If you have concerns or suggestions on how to improve its readability, you should bring them to that map's talkpage.
That said, the detailed map is probably too large to transclude directly onto the mainpage, so perhaps the simple map may still have some utility (though the detailed map should be linked). The colours need to be switched−the green=govt red=rebel paradigm is based on the colours of each side in the Libyan conflict, and in Syria, it's the opposite—and a Kurdish colour added, for sure. The current colours (lime/red-brown/blue) were chosen specifically to be accessible for most forms of colourblindness, so we may need to experiment before we can get a workable fourth colour. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 20:53, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that the svg isn't updated that regularly (it is just that the date of last edit is not always transferred to the caption in the main article). Besides, it displays far fewer places than the detailed one and as such it is natural to get updated less often. Anyhow, i don't have particularly strong feelings, it is just that I prefer it simpler. Kkostagiannis (talk) 00:28, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Do we really need that svg map? We could just remove it from this article.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 23:18, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Could the black (or is it grey? Brown?) perhaps be replaced with another colour? Someone mentioned colour-blindness. I'm colour-blind, and I have a difficult time discerning between the dark blue and the black there, especially when they are close to each other. The background could also be more different from the green, perhaps more yellow/orange, or make the green clearer. FunkMonk (talk) 00:36, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Why USA is not included in the InfoBox of Rebel's supporter??

Why USA is not included in the InfoBox of Rebel's supporter?? (talk) 22:19, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Oddly, the sources which support placing Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia under "Supported by" in "Belligerents" fingers the CIA as supplying arms. I'm not sure what to do about that. TippyGoomba (talk) 02:43, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
A reading mistake. The CIA is coordinating, not supplying, arms. Sopher99 (talk) 03:11, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Could you explain the difference? --Emesik (talk) 10:49, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Coordinating means guiding/directing ie "give this type of weapon from this company to this group in this location" Sopher99 (talk) 12:38, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
The clue is in the definition of the word itself
Definition of belligerent


hostile and aggressive:the mood at the meeting was belligerent engaged in a war or conflict, as recognized by international law: a conference of socialists from all belligerent countries


a nation or person engaged in war or conflict, as recognized by international law:

Johnsy88 (talk) 21:26, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

See and for details on level of USA involvement. This particular situation, which I would characterize as "CIA gives or sells arms to one side, along with training and other logistic support" has happened at least twice before: Guatemalan Civil War and Iran-Iraq War. It turns out that Wikipedia has so far dealt with these two cases inconsistently. In the case of Guatemalan Civil War, USA is indeed listed as a belligerent. In Iran-Iraq war, if Iran-Contra were taken into account, USA should be on both sides. It isn't, and USA is only listed as supporting Iraq. One possible rule that makes sense of this: "if country X sends or sells arms to side Y and does so openly, then Wikipedia shall list country X as a belligerent for side Y". In this case, since the arms sales are being openly reported in the WSJ, it would appear that according to this test, USA should indeed be listed as a belligerent. Thoughts? (talk) 05:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

That would be a slippery slope, because there are many countries arming both sides. Listing them all as belligerents would be useless. And by the way, I look forward to the day that I can say "told you so" when America inevitably receives the "blowback". FunkMonk (talk) 05:28, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
So called blow-backs can happen in many different forms, like when the Libyan ahrar al Sham killed Christopher Stevens. Doesn't mean pro-Gaddafi's "told us so". Libya still had a completely free election with only 17% voting for an islamist candidate. Security problems are security problems, get used to it. If so called "leftists" fully believe that "islamists" will betray western countries, then why don't leftists give their full pledged support? An Islamist state which hates the west, sounds like a particular country your favorite party all know and love. Anyway back to the point, belligerents are consistent combatants, not suppliers. Sopher99 (talk) 12:00, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Lol, are you fecking kidding me? Learn from history. That's all I'm saying. Iran and Shia Islamists would not be anti-western if it wasn't for the West's unlimited support for Israel, Wahabis, and the former Shah/dictator. And then again, how many western civilians have been killed by Shia Islamists, compared to by Sunni Islamists? Even one? And no, Israelis don't count. FunkMonk (talk) 22:16, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
The use of "fecking" is a way to get around a world filter with the intent to make the reader think of another word, so it is profanity and uncivil WP:CIV. In addition, this article is not about Iran, and the subject matter of this comment is discussion-related, not article-related, so I ask you respectfully but firmly to take it to a user talk page per WP:NOTFORUM. DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 22:45, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "word-filter" here as far as I'm aware (Wikipedia is not censored). I'm using that form to be polite, since I'm such a nice guy. FunkMonk (talk) 22:49, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
There are two sections in the infobox separated by the text "supported by". Thus the "Free Syrian Army" is the belligerent, and "Turkey" is the supporter. The two categories are "belligerent" and "supporting a belligerent", so there is a distinction. USA was added as a supporter to the infobox; you removed it and justified the removal with the argument that USA is not a belligerent. We both agree that USA is not a belligerent. But the articles indicate USA has already commenced a process, the purpose of the process is supporting "rebels" and the rebels are a belligerent. So your point does not directly address the edit under discussion, namely whether or not USA should be listed as supporting a belligerent in this conflict in the infobox. DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 18:51, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Mirroring an excerpt of my remarks at the edit warring noticeboard pertaining to Sopher99 and this article:
Sopher99 has twice reverted an edit that would add the USA flag to the "supported by" list corresponding to the opposition belligerent in the Syrian Civil War infobox using the same justification. Sopher99's justification for first revert is "12:36, 30 June 2013‎ Sopher99 (talk | contribs)‎ . . (22,505 bytes) (-264)‎ . . ( " plans to" - first paragraph) (undo | thank)". Sopher99's justification for second revert is "08:18, 1 July 2013‎ Sopher99 (talk | contribs)‎ . . (22,336 bytes) (-242)‎ . . (Guys please read more carefully, WSJ source says USA plans to -haven't yet Also restoring collapsible list) (undo | thank)" Does Sopher99 think this argument is valid, clear, and does not need to be explained further? All three of these points are wrong.
First, the argument is invalid. Sopher99's argument is based on a fallacy. The process of arming the rebels proceeds in several steps, but for the purpose of this article, there are two steps: (a) move weapons to Jordan and (b) arm small groups. The source article indicates that (a) has started and (b) has been planned. Sopher99 argues that in order for the USA to be counted as supporting the rebels, (b) must have commenced, in other words, Sopher99 is arguing that the CIA initiating a two-part process, the purpose of which is to arm rebels, does not count as "supporting the rebels" because the arms are not in the hands of the rebels. This point of view is simply incorrect. The intent of the CIA is to arm the rebels, and the process encompassing (a) and (b) has started.
Second, the argument is not clear. Sopher99 has picked out two words from the source article and derives a conclusion which appears to be "US has not started supporting a belligerent in the Syrian Civil War". What is the intermediate reasoning? We don't know because Sopher99 has not explained. Sopher99 has this to say in support of his revert: "Anyway back to the point, belligerents are consistent combatants, not suppliers." This point is not relevant, for an explanation as to why it is not relevant, please see Talk:Syrian_civil_war#Why_USA_is_not_included_in_the_InfoBox_of_Rebel.27s_supporter.3F.3F.
Third, the argument needs to be explained further. Sopher99 needs to discuss the matter with the other editors. Without discussion, how can we reach consensus? How can the other editors gain greater insight into Sopher99's point of view? DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 21:50, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Added another news source ( to support inclusion of USA in the infobox. FTA: "So far the White House has committed only to supplying rebel forces with small arms and ammunition". A commitment to supply small arms and ammunition sounds like support to me. DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 22:07, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Please don't add the US unless that there's actually evidence that weapons have arrived.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 02:07, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

My understanding is that the test is "supporting a belligerent", not "weapons have arrived". Certainly "weapons have arrived" implies "supporting a belligerent", but there are many other ways to support a belligerent. So it seems that the suggestion is "use test X to signify Y", but common sense says "use test Y to signify Y". X=weapons have arrived, Y=support a belligerent.DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 16:59, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Proposed compromise: split each column of the infobox into (belligerent / militarily supported by / non-militarily supported by) and stick USA in the 3rd category. This would be a departure from the standard for infoboxes set by other war articles like Spanish Civil War, but there is less chance of confusing readers this way. DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 17:18, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
To make things simpler, we could just remove all the "support" countries from the infobox.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 17:20, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
This would make the article worse, not better. Consider the situation where an American high school student wants to learn more about this conflict and lands on the page. Some of them are going to want to get a quick overview by looking at the infobox. Even though the Obama administration is giving very little (and very late) in terms of support in this conflict, knowing that the United States has taken a side and has lent its support to that side helps to frame the conflict in the larger arc of US involvement in the middle east. In the history of the middle east in the last 50 years, for every conflict, one of the first questions to ask is, "which side is the US on?" If the infobox can answer that, then the article is better. DavidBrooksPokorny (talk) 19:00, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I will quote a single sentence from the article itself. It has been there for months: Since 2012, the United States, United Kingdom and France have provided opposition forces with military aid, including weapons, communications equipment, body armor, medical supplies and non-combat armored vehicles. Still any doubts? --Emesik (talk) 20:31, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Compared with what Russia has supplied to Assad, aid from the West is pretty much negligible.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 00:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Rebels behead popular catholic priest in Syria

Should this be mentioned? He was captured and accused on being a member of "Shabiha" despite being a Catholic. Rebels then go on to behead him on camera.

WARNING EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO OF FATHER FRANCOIS MURAD BEING BEHEADED: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

We don't list individual cases unless its widely reported international news. Which it isn't. No one knows who did it either other than arab speaking men.

And since you love these videos so much, here is a treat personally for you. Sopher99 (talk) 17:37, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

So basically if we are going to put individual cases in this article - which we won't - you best be prepared for the massive onslaught of reports of government's abuses that would be added. Sopher99 (talk) 17:41, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

It is widely reported international news, and it will be going into the article. Darkness Shines (talk) 17:54, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
How is it widely report news if their is only one source. Sopher99 (talk) 18:21, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Google it. Darkness Shines (talk) 18:40, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

The main article is not for individual incidents. These articles are

Sopher99 (talk) 18:48, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Not a forum, take your rants elsewhere
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Don't you dare lecture me. The opposition has lost all legitimacy, beheading minority religions, driving car bombs into civilian markets, executing women etc. You want to see the aftermath of Syria when the Islamists get into power? The shame will be on your hands. Look at Libya, at Egypt. Those countries are ruined. You couldn't wait for the elections could you? Assad said elections would come in 2014, so why not wait? Why behead ministers, why drive car bombs into markets? Huh? HUH!? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

We have no idea who behead the Christians. No one blew up markets in Syria (other than assad forces with Grad missiles).
Assad forces slice children, burn people alive, rape thousands of women, destroyed the third largest city of Homs, torture tens of thousands, clusterbomb civilians, use scud missiles, use anti aircraft against civilians, fire intentionally on protesters, use thermobaric bombs, kidnap 28,000, committed 1981 Palmyra massacre, committed Hama massacre in 1982 killing 40,000, sends terrorists into Iraq to kill civilians (during the iraq war), fires on refugees trying to flee, starve civilians of food an medicine, sets up landmines to kill refugees, hire Hezbollah to terrorize the Sunni population, bombs the Yarmouk camp killing 2000 Palestinians, the list goes on. Sopher99 (talk) 18:21, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I apologize, this topic gets me so impassioned. I just cannot sit back and watch a previously secular country that celebrated religious diversity plunge into an Islamist theocracy that aligns with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

So I suppose you don't support Iran - the epitome of an Islamist theocracy (and yet Syria is Iran's main supporter - the irony). In fact for that matter, why does Syria support Hezbollah and Hamas, two organizations renown for practicing jihad. Sopher99 (talk) 18:33, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

We already have articles for human rights abuses. For length reasons, this incident does not belong in the main article. There would be too many similar incidents to list.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 19:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, check out Sectarianism in the Syrian civil war and Human rights violations during the Syrian civil war. And don't mind Sopher, he's just angry that no one is filming Syrian army soldiers filling vaginas with rats or whatever he claims they do. FunkMonk (talk) 20:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
article in IBTimes says it isn't film of the priest - syriatruth (sic) said it was [10] Sayerslle (talk) 21:51, 2 July 2013 (UTC) -
He was shot, not beheaded.[11] Either way, he died. And the men in the video were still beheaded, regardless of their identity. FunkMonk (talk) 01:08, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
He was not the first victim of religious hatred in Syria and won't be the last unfortunately. Such incidents should be only included if they are relevant to the subject in the long term, I don't think this is the case here.--Kathovo talk 08:38, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Double standards?

Why is Iran shown as a combating side, while Turkey, Qatar, Israel and the US aren't there when its now a known fact that they do, in fact, support the anti-government forces? --Երևանցի talk 01:04, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Iran is shown as it is because there are sources reporting that Iranian soldiers are fighting in some capacity on the ground. If you click on the "Supported by" list under the rebels, you'll find Turkey, Qatar, and KSA. Israel's position has been fought over repeatedly and at length: Talk:Syrian civil war/Israel. In any case, it seems erroneous to characterise Israel as "supportive" of a group so saturated with armed jihadis. One does not create buffer zones to separate oneself from "allies". If anything, Israel "rather than concerning itself with the outcome or trying to push for any kind of a speedy resolution, accepts the inevitable continuation of the conflict but maintains a willingness to intervene tactically where and when it sees fit." Whether the US should be added is another can of worms entirely. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 18:23, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Again, no clear proof of Iranian involvement as combatant instead of supporter has been made, only claims. Even armies of neighbouring countries wich its soldiers had been killed fighting in the conflict (Turkey, Irak, Jordan) had not been included as combatants, but Iran has been. This only can be seen as a clear POV-pushing case by some editors...--HCPUNXKID (talk) 22:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"Iran has confirmed for the first time that forces from its revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) are in Syria helping Bashar al-Assad's government crush rebels" - that was September 2012 - [12] Sayerslle (talk) 00:55, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Is anyone suggesting an edit? If so please explicitly state the edit and provides sources. Thanks. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:48, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Agree with both Lothar and Sayerslle. EkoGraf (talk) 09:34, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Split protests from war?

It seems that there could be a spin-off article about the protests alone, which could also help us shorten this article and focus its scope more. Any thoughts? FunkMonk (talk) 00:25, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Stop misrepresenting sources

Firstly, the material you wish to add would be more appropriate here since that template is about the wider civil war.. Secondly you use low-quality sources. Thirdly, you misrepresent sources: If it says Azadi, you should write Azadi. Pass a Method talk 14:08, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Your edit does not comply with template guidelines stating "major groups" or "improving reader understanding". Pass a Method talk 14:25, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Don't edit war please. Pass a Method talk 14:35, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I changed it from KFP to Azadi. They are the same organization anyway. The sources like NY times and Monitor are of good quality. Sopher99 (talk) 14:38, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Azadi has been clashing with PYD as lately as 5 days ago, I added a source for that just now. Sopher99 (talk) 14:39, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
My edit does comply with the template guideline. The Azadi group back in March had thousands of fighters, the source says they are the most effective anti-assad group. They are the PYD's biggest rival too. Sopher99 (talk) 14:36, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
"Azadi" actually refers to two related but distinct political parties, one headed by a Mustafa Cuma and the other by a Mustafa Oso.
"Thousands of fighters" is one thing to claim, another to demonstrate. What battles have these many fighters fought? You show sources, but none of them show any evidence of Cuma's branch (or Oso's, for that matter) being engaged in anything other than brief street scuffles, and even then only with YPG fighters. Even now, as the PYD is intensifying its crackdown on competition, the Kurdish opposition continues to use mainly peaceful means of resistance. "Most effective anti-Assad group" is meaningless for our purposes here without evidence of combat against loyalist forces, for which there does not seem to be any proof at all. The ORSAM source even clearly states that this "effectiveness" was in organising protests in 2011. Hardly a relevant point in an article about a civil war. The standard for inclusion here is neither strength of man- or firepower nor verbalised sympathies, but significant military action—which this party has not once engaged in.
In fact, one of the allegations that PYD figures level against Cuma's party is that they are allied with the rebels—allegations which Cuma continually denies (see e.g. the Rudaw source you slipped into the infobox). Cuma maintains that "fighters of other Kurdish parties are only there to protect the people and their own offices", not for supporting the rebels. The only significant Kurdish groups that can rightly be considered to be fighting in that second column would be the Saladin Brigade and maybe the Kurdish Future Movement, whose former leader was assassinated by alleged pro-Assad gunmen in late 2011.
I find it especially funny how you decide that "no consensus" is a good justification for removing e.g. Israel from the infobox, but as soon as your desperate quest to slap a Kurdish flag on the side of the rebels is opposed, suddenly you fall back to the "template guideline". ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 23:43, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
For your first statement, I am referring to Cuma as the sources say. For you second prose, what you believe to be trifle matters only stems from the lack of death tolls reported. The is used to clarify where the Azadi loyalty lies (concretely anti-assad). Whether Cuma likes it or not , his party is pro-rebel. I have a New York times source, which I used repeatedly in the debate, in which Saleh Muslim outright stated he was friends with the FSA and that he did not recognize the attackers on ras al ayn as true rebels. Not to my surprise - you turned it down, for the jis of the point I am now using. Finally no consensus to change something keeps it at status quo. It just so happens that this talk section is about removing Azadi , and since there is no concensus - we don't remove it. Sopher99 (talk) 01:37, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
"Lack of death tolls reported" sounds an awful lot like "nothing has been happening". The PYD, much like its parent, is often accused of being opaque in its operations and underreporting its deaths. Cuma's party does not have the weight in numbers or guns to afford such a lack of transparency. If its supposed "militia" had been involved in any significant battles, they would have been reported at least somewhere. The ORSAM source quite clearly states that this "effectiveness" against Assad was in organising a few protests in 2011. It's 2013, and I have not seen so much as a knife-fight between Cuma's "militia" and any loyalists. "Pro-FSA" is a meaningless statement without concrete evidence of engaging directly in combat alongside them. Might as well put you in there if that's our standard of inclusion. Right now, your designation basically relies on PYD mudslinging (should change "Azadi forces" to "drug dealers" if that's the kind of support you're using) and distortions of source material. This is a Frankenstein job even for you.
If it's Kurdish FSA buddies you're after, go do some research on the Saladin Brigade, which is quite active in and around Aleppo mainly, and the Mashaal Tammo Brigade, which fought alongside JN in Ras al-'Ayn.
For the record, my dispute with this began less than a day after you added it. I've been too busy IRL to engage in sustained talkpage disputes, but now that I have some free time, I am able to. Pretty much only you support this, Future's lukewarm "just add it" seems more out of exhaustion with this kind of cagefighting than any real support. Only you and you alone have been reverting my and others' removals, and have been told at AN3 to back off. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 15:34, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The fact is I have sources for clashes as recent as a week ago. So they are consistently fighting. Just because the PYD and Azadi don't report their death tolls, doesn't mean there are any. I also have sources that put them on the rebel side, whether or not they fight together. Ghurub al Sham and Alqaeda in Iraq doesn't fight with the FSA, we still put it in the same column. The azadi militia has several thousands soldiers months ago, and are probably even bigger today. Sopher99 (talk) 15:31, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the "Amuda Massacre"—what you (and the PYD) claim are "clashes", the Kurdish opposition calls "firing on (peaceful) protesters" (see e.g.: [13]). "Concealing death tolls" is one thing, concealing armed conflict is another entirely. I have not seen one instance of Cuma's supposed militia engaging in any large-scale conflict. And furthermore, armed clashes/firing on protesters a week ago does not demonstrate "consistently fighting". That's like saying that since you slept with someone once last night and once four months ago, you've been rutting like rabbits in the meanwhiles. Illogical.
You still fail to understand the standards for inclusion in the infobox. It isn't verbal sympathies, it's armed action and bloodshed. If this were an infobox about protests, you'd have a case, but as it stands in this article about a war, you have nothing. The YPG have fought the army on numerous occasions and have lost many militia. Where have Cuma's "thousands" been? If they're so "anti-Assad", why haven't there been any reports of them fighting loyalists? Why does Cuma continually say that charges that his fighters are fighting alongside the FSA are "baseless accusations"? Two and a half years of conflict, and only a few scuffles—only with the YPG. A militia of thousands could quite easily cause much trouble in West Kurdistan, the PYD wouldn't need to make excuses about "drug dealers" to exercise crackdowns.
I've been throwing two Kurdish groups at you repeatedly for which you can certainly find solid support for adding them in the second column, yet you continually ignore this and edit-war a marginal group in on very shaky sourcing against warnings given to you at AN3. Remove Cuma's group, add one or both in, and you can have your pro-rebel Kurds without needing to present half-truths and distortions of source material in a very visible infobox. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 16:00, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

If the group is involved in any fighting, just add it. We even include Lijan militias and some foreign Shia militants, who haven't done much at all.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 02:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

The conflict between PYD and Azadi is just political and on prtopaganda level. According to Mustafa Cuma (leader of Azadi) We have no interest in fighting PYD, and if there are some FSA groups who pretend to be Azadi and attack PYD, is not our responsibility [14]. So Azadi and and PYD do not belong to two different belligerents. In fact, both parties accuse eachother of not being loyal to Arbil agreement, which required mutual cooperation between the two as Kurdish Supreme Comittee. Roboskiye (talk) 18:56, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Kurdish National Council

Why is the Kurdish National Council in the infobox? Are they combatants? Have they been involved in any fighting? --FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:56, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I guess they´re more of a political force. As for clashes, there are few parties within KNC which have minor militias who helped in Ras al-Ayn and Qamishlo but nothing breath-taking. Still, would keep them given that given external and internal relations they are relevant Kurdish party. EllsworthSK (talk) 22:50, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Multiple reverts in less than 24 hours

User:Sopher99 has reverted edits more than once in less than 24 hours. This means the user should be banned as stated by the policy.

ps: This is not the first time this user violates the rule here, the user has done this before on my edits, sometimes by editing the article to revert it to the previous version in place of using the revert button. The user also continues to add sentences to paragraphs (already presented in other paragraphs of the same section) to change the tone of those paragraphs and block a fair presentation of the viewpoints the user doesn't seem to like. In other words, the user does not allow clear and fair presentation of views other than those the user seems to promote in this article which is against WP:NPOV policy. rdt (talk) 03:26, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

The talk page is for discussing changes to the article. Take 1RR violations to WP:AN3. TippyGoomba (talk) 07:16, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

FSA = Islamic Liberation Front + Jihadist groups

Why numerous rebel groups such as Islamic Liberation Front, Syrian Islamic Front, Nusra Front etc. are listed as if they are different from FSA? Is not FSA a brand name for all those groups? This falsification of reality also explains why we have a doubled number of fighters for FSA. Roboskiye (talk) 11:12, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

There is a certain pro-FSA user who still has not realized that FSA is a brand name for rebel groups, also knownn as MWG (men with guns). He desperately or maybe deliberately adds a small Islamist Kurdish group (numbering max a few dozens untrained fighters of Kurd and Arab origins) known as Salhaddin battalion as being just part of FSA denying their connection with the Syrian Islamic liberation front. What this dude is missing is that this Salahaddin wannabe fighters are part of Al-Tawhid Brigade, which itself is part of Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, labelled by journalists as FSA (read MWG!). Here is their supermen in Aleppo! and these are their supermen in Azaz area! They explicitly announce that they are part of Al-Tawhid Brigade (Syrian Islamic liberation front). So stop falsification of facts by lame journalist links! Roboskiye (talk) 14:03, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Whether the "FSA" exists as a distinct group is an unclear matter, and has been debated on this talkpage several times before. It is certainly true that many journalists use the term as a catch-all for the armed opposition. But it's best to ignore such lazy glosses, as they are intended to simplify the conflict for the basic understanding of disinterested Westerners. Thus, we have to look at closer examinations of the structure of the opposition by scholars and experts.
The term was coined by Riad al-As'ad much earlier in the conflict, but he has largely been sidelined at this point. Now, Salim Idris explicitly refers to himself as the C-in-C of the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army. The SMC also includes many representatives from the Syrian (Islamic) Liberation Front in addition to "FSA" Provincial Councils. The SMC is also—importantly—attached to the SNC and supported by the West. The Syrian Islamic Front has very little presence in this command, however, while Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS have none. Moreover, the SIF and other hardline jihadis tend to be very critical of the "FSA" leadership, distancing themselves firmly from what they perceive to be a Western marionette. Even the leadership of the SILF notes that they are not technically "FSA", though they will remain strong allies of it.
"FSA" is not so much defined by what it is than by what it isn't. Some good sources to look at: [15], [16], [17], [18]. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 17:21, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Good that finally someone dared to asdress this question. You provided four links; Here is your response:
No. 1: Elizabeth O'Gbay, page 40, when she lists rebel coalitions we see same SILF, SIF and Jihadist groups, not a 80,000,000 secular freedom-fighter angels to be labelled FSA (MWG).[19].
No.2: Is just a desperate last chance try by a lame Pro-FSA journalist to defence Turkish intelegence services propganada that FSA exists. Try instead to focus on Aron Lunds article [20].
No:3: Is just another journalist link.
No:4: Is actually written by Aron Lund who states that FSA does not exist!
But now, time to read a real reference like this: [21]. Go to page 11, ..The rise and fall of the Free syrian army.
Some quoates: The FSA was first set up by a group of military defectors gathered around Col. Riad al-Asaad, in Turkey in July 2011. This original FSA faction quickly fell under the influence of Turkish intelligence, which kept Col. Asaad under close control, screening his contacts inside syria and abroad. The group did not have much actual reach into Syria, but from its inception, it was promoted as the revolution’s ”military leadership” by both the state-controlled pan-Arab media and many Western reporters. This helped it to succeed as a branding operation, if nothing else.
By late 2011, the FSA name and symbols were widely used by Syrian insurgents. When a new insurgent faction was created, its commander would typically release a video on YouTube, stating that he was forming a new brigade of the FSA. Many groups would even name Col. Riad al-Asaad as their supreme commander. These groups rarely had any form of organizational relationship with the Turkey-based leadership, but they helped bolster the political standing of the FSA commander, and encouraged others to follow suit.
As the months passed, it became evident that the FSA was not a functioning organization. Col. Asaad remained confined to a sequestered officers’ camp in Turkey, under the thumb of Turkish intelligence. He was unable to do more than issue statements and dispatch an occasional bag of cash to rebels inside Syria. His FSA failed to expand organizationally, and never gained sufficient foreign funding to draw massive support among rebels inside Syria. Persistent challenges to Col. Asaad from other high-ranking military defectors, sometimes encouraged by rival states, added to the group’s troubles. Gradually, Col. Asaad came to be identified with the rest of the exile community, widely stereotyped among opposition members as ineffectual and disconnected from the revolution inside Syria.
By mid 2012, Col Asaad had been decisively sidelined, and he was no longer taken seriously by the rebel mainstream in Syria. The FSA brand remained popular for several months more, but by autumn it had begun to seem like yesterday’s news. New rebel groups were still being declared every week, but unlike in spring, they would rarely declare themselves part of the FSA. Factions that had previously used the FSA name and logotype stopped doing so, or invented other alliances in parallel.
In september 2012, some of the largest mainstream insurgent factions in Syria publicly ended their lapsed affiliation with the FSA, and formed a rival coalition called the Syria liberation front (SLF, Jabhat Tahrir Souriya). This alliance, which initially appeared to have as little organizational substance as the FSA, had been brought together both by a shared Islamist ideology, and by shared sources of funding. In particular, some point to the influence of Mohammed Surour Zeinelabidin, an exiled salafi theologian who has emerged as one of the most effective insurgent financiers during the Syrian war. Some of the SLF factions, notably Kataeb al-Farouq, also appear to enjoy Turkish government patronage.
Today, the FSA name remains in use by a number of competing spokespersons and command structures that claim to represent the rebellion under that name. They include Col. Riad al-Asaad (FSA), Brig. Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh (FSA military council), Col. Qasem saadeddine (FSA Joint internal leadership), and a handful of others. Each of these groups receive some level of foreign support and media attention, and they remain active as minor political figures, but none of them controls a serious military force inside syria. Many groups inside syria also still refer to themselves as FSA, sometimes to distinguish themselves from radical religious factions, and sometimes reflecting financial ties to the exiled fsa leaderships.
In addition to this, the FSA name is widely used by both Syrians and outsiders as a general descriptive term for the insurgency, particularly its non-salafi factions. However, when employed in this sense, the term ”FSA” does not refer to an organization. Instead, it is synonymous to expressions like ”the resistance” or ”the freedom fighters”. Roboskiye (talk) 19:30, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
1: O'Bagy is discussing the Supreme Military Command, headed currently by Salim Idris. As shown in the other pieces, this organisation is partially synonymous with "FSA". The structure of the SMC is clarified thusly:
Page 7: "To this end, the SMC has recognized the importance of the inclusion of some of the more radical forces, while still drawing a red line at the inclusion of forces that seek the destruction of a Syrian state, such as jihadist groups like Jabhat Nusra."
Page 30: "This has allowed for a low-level of incorporation of the SIF into the SMC, and it paves the way for cooperation between the two structures with the SMC goal of eventually incorporating SIF leadership wholly within its framework."
Page 38: "For example, the Syrian Liberation Front's (SLF) leadership has been incorporated into the SMC and many SLF commanders serve as SMC members. This has empowered the SMC, and allowed the command to draw legitimacy from their inclusion."
Page 38: "The Syrian Islamist Front (SIF) has been incorporated to a lesser degree. Few of its leaders are actively involved with the SMC, and SIF ranks have not been integrated into the new command."
Page 40: "the SLF is not incorporated directly into the Free Syrian Army"
From this, we can understand the following:
1) Jabhat al-Nusra is decidedly not part of the SMC
2) Brigades in the SIF are only marginally integrated into the SMC
3) Brigades in the SILF/SLF are mostly or fully integrated into the SMC
4) SILF/SLF is not part of the FSA, however
These are important points to consider when seeking to refine our definitions.
2: Your interpretation of the DeBeuf/Lund article misses the mark. The link that I provided is a rebuttal to Lund's "does not exist" piece—with a response from Lund:
"Debeuf is also right that Salim Idriss and his General Staff now use the FSA term – despite the fact that the organization did not emerge under that name, and many of its member units have previously renounced the FSA label. In my defense, the Twitter Account and other statements that Debeuf refers to had just been made when I wrote my post, and I wasn’t aware of them at the time. But bottom line, he's right, and I was wrong."
If we look at later pieces from Lund, like this, we find that he does indeed now treat the FSA as an extant—if disorganised—entity:
"...Salim Idriss's General Staff, which is the latest incarnation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)."
"...the Haqq Brigade of Homs, which holds a position on the FSA leadership."
The quotes you pulled have some interesting examples as well: "some of the largest mainstream insurgent factions in Syria publicly ended their lapsed affiliation with the FSA"—how can one end an affiliation with a group that (supposedly) does not exist?
3: This is not "another journalist link", but an analysis piece from a nongovernmental think tank of some note. It cannot be dismissed so easily.
4: Lund stated that the FSA did not exist. Past tense. He admitted that he was wrong to say that no functional organisation called itself as such, and now treats it as a real—if poorly defined—organisation.
In closing: We're talking about organisation here, so perceived ideological affiliations and subjective opinions on "goodness" have no effect on the question of whether or not the FSA exists. The infobox does not say that there are "80,000,000 secular freedom-fighter angels" in Syria. All it is saying is that there are between 50,000 and 80,000 fighters in Syria who belong to an organisation calling itself the FSA. That's it. (You shouldn't develop such tunnel vision on the numbers anyway—much more goes into the balance of power in a war than simply how many individuals are fighting on each side.) It's true that FSA "brandname" is frequently overgeneralised and poorly defined in the media and even on the ground. But from the sources available to us, it does seem to exist organisationally in a significantly narrower sense. That is the sense it is being used here. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 22:09, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Your conclusion is wrong, because you still think there are a large militant group other than Islamists, Salafists and Jihadists operating inside Syria. Could you please give a list of governorates, cities, towns, villages, or anything which any group other than SILF/SIF/Jihadists/YPG controls inside syria? This way you may get the point and agree to remove/modify FSA in infobox as Bashars major rival. Once again read this and forget about biased journalist nonsense published in some media. Roboskiye (talk) 22:28, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
My conclusions are based on what is presented in reliable sources, which is what this project is based on: WP:V. Please stop talking about "journalists", because none of sources I provided are from news media. That is a red herring.
I contend that your conclusion is incorrect because you are not paying attention to the dates of the Lund sources you claim as your support. His "Syria's Salafi Insurgents" piece is dated to 28 February 2013, and his "The Free Syrian Army Doesn't Exist" piece is dated to 16 March 2013. In these two pieces, Lund maintains that there is no FSA. However, his position changes in his response to DeBeuf's "The Free Syrian Army Does Exist" piece, dated to 19 March 2013—as I showed above. The "New Addition to the Syrian Islamic Front" is dated to 3 May 2013, and as per above, Lund regards the FSA as being an extant entity. In this piece, dated to 17 June 2013, Lund explicitly describes the FSA as one of the major rebel groups. You are using outdated sources to support points which are outright contradicted by later material from the same author.
Additionally, that 17 June piece by Lund names the Syria Martyrs' Brigades as solely FSA and in control of much of Jabal Zawiyah in Idlib, so there's your "territorial control". ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 23:12, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Everyone is reminded of WP:NOTFORUM, apologies if we're already all informed. Is anyone suggesting a change to the article? If so, can it be restated (with sources)? TippyGoomba (talk) 03:16, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

This entire discussion has been about the presentation of the armed opposition in the infobox.... ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 11:58, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if this piece in the guardian has been referred to [22]- It points up civil wars within the civil war kind of thing - "Religious leaders explained to me that we should not fight blindly, that the flag of the FSA is the flag of infidel secularism and that America is our enemy, whether we declare it or not. Americans will always fight us and will never be satisfied," he said.
"We can't topple Bashar and hand it to the FSA to establish the same apostate secularist state. We are not fighting against Bashar only; we are fighting the system." The tactics with which al-Nusra is waging its war are no less brutal than those of its al-Qaida-affiliated counterparts in other areas of the Middle East. " etc - Sayerslle (talk) 19:59, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. What's the actual edit being proposed and what are the sources? From what I can tell, the media uses the term Free Syrian Army and thus, so should we. TippyGoomba (talk) 00:51, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Beyrouth bombing

A brigade of the Free Syrian Army has to claim yesterday's attack in the southern suburb of Beirut, I will create an article in the evening. What do you think ? [1] Rogal Dorm (talk) 17:49, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

If confirmed, the Free Syrian Army have clearly crossed a red-line and should be termed a Terror Group. At this rate, how long before Wikipedia is able to say that the majority of human rights violations documented in Syria, including numerous international crimes, have been committed by the Free Syrian Army? (talk) 10:20, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army has condemned the attack, but it is a brigade of the claim that is the author of the bombing Rogal Dorm (talk) 11:47, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I created the article but I do not have a good level of English to be able to write completely Rogal Dorm (talk) 19:24, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

1RR arbitration for Syrian civil war articles

A request for Arbcom regarding creation of specific Syrian civil war 1RR arbitration tool is issued and if accepted will affect this page and other related pages on Syrian civil war. The issue was previously discussed here and recommended by an administrator for Arbcom solution on the issue (see [here]). Involved editors will be invited for the resolution process.Greyshark09 (talk) 17:10, 11 July 2013 (UTC)


Pakistani Taliban should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

They are only in hundreds, so I am not sure that they should have a place in the infobox. Although we can use "Other groups" for such organizations. Anyway, Taliban are there in the article's sections. Faizan 16:24, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Foreign militants

Why is it that under the Syrian government section of combatants there is a foreign militants section, while under the opposition section there is just mujahideen?

You cannot honestly believe there are not thousands of foreign salafists from Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, even China on the side of the opposition.

Also, why do you use the euphemism "other" to refer to groups such as Pakistani Taliban who are now in the conflict. Pakistani Taliban need to be added to the list of combatants on the opposition side.

Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:33, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

In the strengths section of the opposition, we give a direct figure for foreign militants. The "others" is not a euphemism, it is a link where you can see over a dozen different groups. The taliban only has a few hundred fighters and none of them core members, all arabs. The taliban yesterday downplayed their involvement. Sopher99 (talk) 17:39, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

there's no other explanation why one side says foreign fighters and other refers to it as "mujahideen" other then that the readers are trying to be deceived...sopher you know well that most people wont read the bottom section of the infobox & im wondering if that source you posted about the taliban is reliable. Baboon43 (talk) 18:16, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Not really, only Long War Journal seems to be inordinately obsessed with them. They're a subgroup of ISIS anyway [23]. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 11:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Impact Header - Terrorism Section

I think a section under Impact should include the effects this will have on terrorism. Such as Syria becoming a breeding ground for terrorist elements.

WP:FRINGE , WP:CRYSTALBALL Sopher99 (talk) 17:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

WP:NotFringe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Since it is one of the main reasons why the rebels aren't getting western support, yes, it should be mentioned. FunkMonk (talk) 01:19, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Actually strengthening the FSA and the moderates to keep the jihadists from having too much power is a primary reason used by the pro-arms for rebels politicians in Washington. Sopher99 (talk) 01:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to carry more weight than what I stated above, otherwise they would already be armed. FunkMonk (talk) 18:42, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


Since the capture of Ras al-A'in Tuesday then taking the border post yesterday by Kurdish forces, fighting spread in the province of Al-Hasakah, if fighting continues to expand I would create an article Rogal Dorm (talk) 10:22, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

About what? We already have an article about Kurdish fighting. FunkMonk (talk) 18:43, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Political leaders in infobox

@Coltsfan: Unlike Churchill in WWII, the leaders of Syria's political opposition have no power over the rebel factions in Syria. Churchill was essentially the commander-in-chief of the British military. Ahmad Jarba is just a figurehead. A military infobox is for leaders who actually have an effect on the war. Therefore, Jarba and others need to be removed. --FutureTrillionaire (talk) 13:08, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

The SNC president is the acting president of Syria in the event of the regime loss of Damascus. Sopher99 (talk) 13:12, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

There are the political leaders and there are the military leaders. By this logic, we should also remove Riad al-Asaad and Salim Idris from the infobox. They also don't have any de facto power over Syria. Theses guys, for all intents and purposes, have no de facto authority inside Syria and are technically not leading anything. If you look at the Irish War of Independence, for example, it's the exactly same thing! You have a bunch of leaders (Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Eamon de Valera, etc) whose real authority inside the war is questionable. Like in this civil war, in the irish case most of the fighting, the initiatives and its developments were in the hands of local commanders. We should put those names back because, at least internationally, they are recognized as the face of the opposition and they are in fact recognized as their official leadership. Coltsfan (talk) 14:48, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree that we should remove Riad al-Asaad. He has no actual power now, although the President of the SNC does have some. UncappingCone64 (talk) 15:16, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

@Coltsfan: Riad al-Asaad fought in the first battle of Rastan, and helped found the FSA. Salim Idris is the leader of the SMC. They are definitely military leaders. What other articles do does not impact what the infobox of this article should be like.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 15:19, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Does the SMC of the opposition have any real power inside Syria? No. Is Riad al-Asaad and Salim Idris actually performing any kind of de facto command role, dealing with strategies, commanding battles or anything of the sort? No. Most of the jobs of theses guys are merely symbolic. Like colonel Kasim Saaduddin once said: "Riad al-Asaad don’t control the situation inside Syria, and the fighting forces of the opposition in Syria do not obey him". Coltsfan (talk) 15:27, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly which ones are you suggesting be removed? Please state them explicitly as the article may not be consistent throughout the conversation. I can't find Ahmad Jarba in there, was he removed already? TippyGoomba (talk) 16:40, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Not only Jarba was removed (without any consensus, I must add) but all major political leaders were removed also. I suggest the return of the status quo of the article until a true consensus is achieved. Coltsfan (talk) 16:51, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If there are no sources, this is enforcing policy, no consensus required. Please provide sources (or point them out in the article) so the content can be restored. TippyGoomba (talk) 16:58, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Not quite. He was the one that did not provide any source for his claims. And if a guy is elected president and leader of the opposition, then it's pretty obvious. Coltsfan (talk) 17:12, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Exactly what I was looking for. Ahmad Jarba should be re-added with that source. TippyGoomba (talk) 17:25, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The issue is not the source. All sources agree that he is the leader of the political opposition. The debate is about whether political opposition leaders should be included in the military infobox. So far, I've not seen any good reason for inclusion. Idris has some military power, but Jarba has none. He is just a figurehead.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 19:11, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Template:Infobox military conflict states that the infobox should only include "the commanders of the military forces involved. For battles, this should include military commanders (and other officers as necessary). For wars, only prominent or notable leaders should be listed, with an upper limit of about seven per combatant column recommended. Ranks and position titles should be omitted." Jarba is definitely not a military commander, so it's clearly inappropriate to include him in the infobox.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 19:25, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

The policy says notable leaders are included, he's a notable leader. In your opinion, he's not a "military commander". Might be true, but it's not relevant. TippyGoomba (talk) 19:48, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

It's about notable leaders! They are notable. They lead the whole shebang! They should be mentioned over there. Coltsfan (talk) 20:15, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

He not being a military leader is fact, not an opinion.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:17, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Read the sources: "As a political entity composed primarily of exiled Syrians—many of whom have not been in the country for months or years—the Syrian Opposition Coalition is frequently criticized by rebel groups for being out of touch with the in-country rebellion, contributing to its limited credibility on the ground. Whether or not it is able to effectively and prudently disperse the foreign aid it receives will likely determine its standing among rebel groups."--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:26, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Syria’s armed opposition has no effective central leadership--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Also: "The Syrian armed rebellion, often discussed as a singular movement working in unity to overthrow President Assad, is more accurately described as an array of ideologically diverse and uncoordinated brigades and battalions with limited areas of operation. One high-ranking U.N. official recently estimated the number of armed militias operating in the Syrian rebellion at “more than a thousand.”" --FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

As the source I pointed, Ahmad Asi al-Jarba is the leader of the largest opposition group. George Sabra, was the de facto chief of the SNC for a while. But if what you say is right, then there should be no names for the opposition on the infobox. According to your own source, Salim Idris and Riad al-Asaad also have no power in Syria (they are all leaders in exile), as this source confirms. Coltsfan (talk) 21:06, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If it makes you happy, we can remove Idris. But unlike the SNC, the FSA leadership does have some, although not much, power over rebel battalions (see [24]).--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 21:17, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

If the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is the main coalition of opposition groups in the Syrian civil war, so their leaders should be there, since the syrian government and other governments talk to them as representativs of the opposition forces. Coltsfan (talk) 21:22, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

What opposition are you talking about? The NCSROF is a completely separate group from the SMC, the leadership of many rebel brigades. See [25] --FutureTrillionaire (talk) 22:08, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

The National Coalition it's Syria's largest opposition group. It's recognized by many countries (like the US and also groups like the Arab League) as "the legitimate representative and main interlocutor" for the 'syrian people'. Why shouldn't we put their most notable leaders in the infobox? It doesn't make any sense. Coltsfan (talk) 22:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Because we're talking about a military infobox concerning a military conflict. Assad is the commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces. He plays an important role in the war. His generals are his subordinates, and must consult with him before major operations. Jarba on the other hand is not the commander-in-chief of the rebels, and plays a negligible role in actual fighting.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 22:35, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
According to the template's description the infobox is for "prominent or notable leaders". It's not 'military leaders exclusive'. No where in the description says what you're saying. Coltsfan (talk) 22:43, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The first sentence for the commanders field says: "the commanders of the military forces involved", obviously implying military leaders when it says "only prominent or notable leaders should be listed".--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 22:54, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
But it doesn't say that there should ONLY have "military leaders". It doesn't say that at all. Coltsfan (talk) 23:00, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I've started a thread at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history to get some answers.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 23:01, 20 July 2013 (UTC)