The "Free Syrian Army" Challenges Assad

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Jacques Neriah - Dissident Syrian officers have organized into the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) - which is fighting the regime openly. Headed by Col. Riyad al-Ass'ad and nine other colonels, the FSA exceeds 20,000 troops and is organized in 23 fighting battalions. Exactly as in the Libyan case, if the regime falls, it will probably fall only in the aftermath of the defeat of the forces loyal to the present regime. Until now, the opposition forces were led by civilians. But today the armed confrontation is in the hands of rebel professional soldiers who seem to attract new recruits to their forces day after day. The FSA and the Syrian National Council (SNC), a body that represents all the political forces opposed to Assad, both carry a growing hostility toward Iran and its ally - Hizbullah, while being open to a deep relationship with Turkey and probably with the U.S., France, and the UK.

2011-11-21 00:00:00

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