The two men were convicted of failing to take part in the Friday prayers
Kerry and the State Department didn't understand why the Islamic Front, the new "moderate" heavy hitters in Syria, didn't want to meet with them.
“The Islamic Front has refused to sit with us without giving any reason,” Robert Ford said, just one day after U.S. State Secretary John Kerry spoke of a “possible” meeting with Syria’s biggest opposition alliance.
Baffling. Then the Senate's favorite lobbyist for the Jihadists explained why.
"The Islamic Front did not meet with the United States because of certain preconditions the U.S. had insisted on."
These preconditions mainly involved not working with Al Qaeda. But Mouaz Moustafa, the current front man for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, explained that we didn't have the luxury of being finicky about this stuff. Al Qaeda, no Al Qaeda. Bad guys, good guys. Who cares.
“Alienating the Islamic Front puts the U.S. at risk of losing any leverage or influence within the armed opposition,” he said. “It’s not about whether they are good guys or bad guys. The Islamic Front is the only counterbalance to extremists in Syria. The U.S. must recognize that.”
In Haleb, two men were convicted of failing to take part in the Friday prayers, and were sentenced to 25 lashes each, to be delivered publicly.
The two convicted men were brought to the city square, where they were flogged on their bare backs. The crowd that had gathered watched the scene quietly.
This is not the first time that the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist organization carried out flogging sentences in public. The Islamic organizations' religious court has even meted out sentences of capital punishment in the past.
Ahrar al-Sham is the core of the Islamic Front. Its goal is an Islamic State with no democracy and lots of floggings and beheadings.
Exactly the sort of people we should be negotiating with.