Free Syrian Army Combating Extremism
“I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists....” - President Obama
“We believe there is more coordinated, effective leadership within the [ Syrian ] opposition... which has fundamentally altered the possibilities” - John Kerry Interview with Charlie Rose, May 28, 2014
“The moderate FSA fighters say that their struggle [against ISIS] is not just on behalf of Syria but also the world, given the international threat posed by ISIS.” - The Times, May 27, 2014
“FSA Commander Jamal Maarouf says his forces must simultaneously fight Assad’s army and ... Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, two jihadist groups with al-Qaeda roots” - David Ignatius, Washington Post. March 13, 2014
“We consider ISIS an arm of the Syrian regime. We ask the United States to give us sophisticated weaponry or at least to give other allies the green light to give us sophisticated weaponry. If the United States doesn’t help [ the Free Syrian Army ] with sophisticated weaponry, Syria is going to be dominated by al Qaeda, and that is going to be a threat to the entire world.” - General Abdillilah Bashir, Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army. May 12, 2014.
On May 16, Free Syrian Army units in Allepo province announced the launch of an anti-Al Qaeda offensive titled Operation Earthquake of the North.
“Rebel spokesman Abu Layla, who opposes both ISIS and the Assad regime, said he believes ISIS has no future...” - The Daily Star, May 21, 2014
- "They want to use force to set up a brutal, extremist state that has nothing to do with Islam, and people reject that,"
- "Every day we are fighting ISIS and the regime, without a single bullet or dollar of support from the outside world," Abu Leyla said. "They can never claim real, grassroots support. Nobody in Syria wants ISIS."
“Syrian rebels launched their biggest offensive yesterday against thousands of jihadists in the north who have used terrorist tactics and imposed strict Islamic rules on minorities.” -The Times, April 26, 2014
- About 1,500 members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were involved in the push towards the city of Raqqa, which is controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Isis), according to an opposition spokesman.
The FSA is fighting foreign fighters. Commander of the Raqqa Revolutionary Brigade Abu Eissa said that his men have “killed several foreign fighters, many of whom of European origin.” - The Times, May 27, 2014
Five powerful rebel coalitions signed a “Revolutionary Covenant” denouncing “fundamentalism and extremism - Syria:Direct, May 19, 2014
- “Many Syrians hold the suspicion that ISIS is actually working with the regime”
“FSA rebels say they are fighting ISIS to reclaim the insurgency from extremists and regain trust from supporters who want a pluralistic Syria.” - The New York Times, January 12, 2014