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Combatants and civilians

Reader comment on item: When Sunni and Shiite Extremists Make War

Submitted by Peter West (Australia), Jun 12, 2013 at 04:10

It is completely unrealistic to even suggest that combatants might be persuaded to fight away from civilian areas. How is that idea working with Hezbollah in Lebanon? Or with Hamas in Gaza? How did it work in Iraq? Or Afghanistan?

When the opposition is Israel or the US, the civilian casualties that result from fighting from within populated enclaves is regarded as a major weapon in itself. When an armoured brigade with air support faces less well-armed irregular troops, the commanders would love to have their opponents come out in the open to be slaughtered. It's not going to happen.

In any case, the Assad troops have from the beginning been using terror against the civilian areas in which rebels are ensconsed. It now appears that the rebels who have recently suffered reversals are increasingly employing the same tactics.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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