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.
“Some 2, 000 moderate Syrian rebels to be trained in Turkey,” AGI, November 15, 2014 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
(AGI) Ankara, Nov 15 – U.S. and Turkish army officials have agreed that the training of around 2,000 moderate Syrian rebels, including Free Syrian Army (FSA) members and Syrian Turkmen, will take place at the military training centre in Hirfanli, Turkey. Officials from both countries met for the third time at the general headquarters in Ankara to discuss Turkey’s proposal to equip and train the rebels. . .
Last month, General John Allen said that the U.S. was not working with these bloody jihadis, but his office immediately contradicted his statement.
“The US Confirms That It Is Not Coordinating With The Free Syrian Army,” by Michael B Kelley, Business Insider, October 16, 2014:
A key American official has confirmed that the US is ditching the nationalist rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and building a new ground force to focus on fighting the Islamic State, Hannah Allam of McClatchy reports.
“At this point, there is not formal coordination” with the Free Syrian Army, John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the US-led campaign against the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), told reporters at the State Department.
General Allen’s office tells Business Insider that Allam’s report is inaccurate and that the U.S. is still working with parts of the FSA.
“General Allen met with a number of representatives from across the spectrum of the Syrian opposition including key military figures,” The statement said. “In all the meetings, General Allen was clear that the US was committed to building upon the existing military capacity of the vetted elements of the Free Syrian Army. He was also clear about the need for the political elements of the moderate Syrian opposition to become as coherent as possible as they will be essential to the long term political outcomes in Syria.”
On the other hand, FSA rebels were not invited to a recent meeting regarding the coalition against ISIS and the U.S. has backed off its demands that Assad must go.
“They are basically telling the FSA that they are not part of their plans and they are going to start from scratch,” Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The Daily Beast….