The FSA Is Still Fighting For The Syrian People: The World Will Realize Its Only Option
06 February 2015
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
The current debate about the actual size of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)
highlights just how murky the situation is in Syria, and how easily
propaganda is marketed by both sides. The Syrian regime is pushing the idea
that the opposition is divided and has been wiped out, while the opposition
says it is reorganizing 60,000 fighters who are members of the FSA.
What is certain is that the Western support the FSA is receiving has
decreased. The Wall Street Journal has reported that American military
support for the Syrian opposition has declined, and that the US only gave the
equivalent of 16 bullets a month per fighter.
On Wednesday, the US State Department said: ''Since the first of the year, we
have delivered approximately 2.7 million dollars of nonlethal supplies and
equipment to the moderate opposition, including water trucks, backhoes,
generators, winter gear, and more than 17,000 food baskets.''
Despite this scarcity, the FSA and the moderate Syrian opposition in general
deserve respect for their steadfastness despite a lull in support, and
despite the restraints on them. For instance, they are no longer able to move
freely in northern Syria due to constant attacks by the extremist Al-Nusra
Front. On top of that, Turkey has also begun to restrain the activity of the
FSA and its leaders, perhaps as a result of foreign pressure.
Despite the restraints levied against it, the FSA is on the verge of
consolidating its control of southern Syria—in Dera'a and its
surroundings—even though many of the fighters have not received salaries in
Salim Idris, minister of defense in the opposition government, said recently
the opposition has begun to unite its various factions to establish a united
army that will include 60,000 fighters. Idris added he believes the world
will realize its only option to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) is to topple the Syrian regime and support the moderate opposition,
which represents all Syrian people of different religions, sects and tribes.
Some American politicians and legislators agree with this opinion when it
comes to the topic of confronting ISIS and the threats it poses to the world.
A member of the US Senate's defense committee recently said: ''The American
government must support the Free Syrian Army because it's the only option.
Despite the hesitation to support [the FSA], its leadership will be capable
of altering the vision of regional countries in support of the Syrian people
and [will also be capable] of altering the vision of suspicious Western
countries if it really manages to reunite itself and if it really succeeds at
uniting the ranks of, at least, its military leaderships [especially since]
rival and competing political leaderships are not as significant during this
Al Rashed is the general manager of
Al -Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-
Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a
senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a
US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many
TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.