Here is the Syrian government’s flag, normally flown by supporters of the regime and its president, Bashar al-Assad.
On Tuesday an anti-war protester at London’s #DontbombSyria was waving it.
This is ironic: Bashar al-Assad is anything but peaceful. While he operates in a country where war makes in nearly impossible to prove and quantify the number of civilians targeted by the regime, the millions of refugees spilling out of Syria are proof that civilian casualties continue to rocket.
The gentleman holding the pro-Assad flag was running so we were unable to ask why he was flying it. But did he know that he was expressing support for President Assad and his regime? Or, had he failed to understand the once Syrian flag, had come to represent a show of support for a President many see as a dictator?
Below is the flag flown by pro-democracy revolutionaries.
That includes the Free Syrian Army and other so-called ‘moderate’ opposition fighters.
They define their enemy as ‘all [Syrian] security forces attacking civilians’. At the moment this is mainly Assad.
It’s these ‘moderate’ opposition fighters David Cameron says will defeat ISIS with the help of Coalition airstrikes.
The ironic appearance of the flags of Assad and the Free Syrian Army: two sides, themselves already at war, at a march against the west bombing ISIS – two further sides, fighting over a different, but entwined issue – captures the complexity of issues facing MPs when they make their votes tonight.
And it shows public confusion over what is happening, and who these different sides are.
While this murky understanding bumbles forward, more and more civilians lose their lives in a civil war which may see another western nation enter the fray.