The United States abandoned its non-lethal aid deliveries to northern Syria on Wednesday after Islamist rebel groups fighting against the government seized key checkpoints and warehouses from the Syrian rebels. "Because of the current situation the United States has suspended deliveries of non-lethal assistance into northern Syria," U.S. spokesperson T.J. Grubisha told the AFP. The decision signals that one of the worst fears of regular Syrians — that terrorists have hijacked their revolution — might be coming true.
Aid to the most dangerous part of Syria, the rebel-held northern part of the country, will halt immediately because of this decision. The region will no longer receive food, medicine, electrical generators, communications equipment, among other things. A U.S. official told Buzzfeed it's “too early to say what this means in the long-term,” for aid efforts in the area.
The new decision comes after the Islamist Front, a splinter rebel group of radical Islamists formed in the last six months, took key arms depots and other sites in Bab al-Hawa, a town near the Turkish border. Those locations had been held by the Free Syrian Army, the rebel alliance supported by the U.S. and its allies.
The Islamist Front formed within the last half year from the largest Islamist rebel groups. Once together, they rejected the FSA's authority, and are now fighting to make Syria an Islamist state should Syrian president Bashar al-Assad fall.
Other parts of Syria are still suffering, too, though. Fighting continued around Homs, the western city coveted by the rebels and the regime alike. As winter has set in, the cold weather and snow is endangering those who became homeless and poor because of the civil war. Pictures like this one that surfaced Wednesday showing a war-torn Homs will begin appearing more and more frequently: