The U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army — those are the “moderates,” you know. How moderate? This moderate: in July 2013, Free Syrian Army fighters entered the Christian village of Oum Sharshouh and began burning down houses and terrorizing the population, forcing 250 Christian families to flee the area. Worthy News reported that just two days later, Free Syrian Army rebels “targeted the residents of al-Duwayr/Douar, a Christian village close to the city of Homs and near Syria’s border with Lebanon….Around 350 armed militants forcefully entered the homes of Christian families who were all rounded-up in the main square of the village and then summarily executed.” And in September 2013, a day after Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Free Syrian Army as “a real moderate opposition,” the FSA took to the Internet to post videos of its attack on the ancient Syrian Christian city of Maaloula, one of the few places where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken.
This is just the faction Obama is backing. This is America’s shame.
“West bankrolls Free Syrian Army fightback,” by Tom Coghlan and Norhan Keshik for The Times via The Australian, February 8:
THE West and Gulf states are funding a new military offensive by rebel forces around Damascus in an effort to throw the Assad regime on to the back foot before a second round of Syria peace talks.
The assault marks an attempt by the Free Syrian Army and its allies abroad to reassert control after months of rebel infighting.
The timing of the attack, codenamed “Geneva Horan”, comes amid fears Bashar al-Assad will give little ground at the negotiating table while he has the upper hand on the battlefield.
FSA forces yesterday posted online videos of rebel tanks, heavy mortars and rocket launchers pounding what were said to be government positions on highways near the town of Athman, north of the city of Daraa, close to the Jordanian border.
The attack involving 18 rebel brigades was accompanied by a fresh influx of money and weaponry channelled through Jordan, where the US has established a training base for the FSA, say rebel field commanders. It includes $57 million in cash to pay the rebels.
Monzer Akbik, a spokesman for the rebel Syrian National Coalition, refused to be drawn into specifics. “There are things that are better not to be announced,” he said. “I don’t really want to go into the details of funding. We have friends – our friends in the West and our brothers in the Gulf.”…
The FSA has been seen as an increasingly peripheral presence on the battlefield while Gulf powers including Saudi Arabia and Qatar channelled the lion’s share of funding and weapons to hardline religious factions such as the Islamic Front. Late last month, the US approved a supply of a big shipment of arms to rebels in Jordan….
Powerful jihadist groups announced their own northern offensive yesterday. The Islamic Front, an alliance of factions that includes the al-Qa’ida-aligned al-Nusra Front, declared the start of “Operation Truthful Promise Approaches” in Aleppo yesterday….