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Washington has been continuing to develop measures against the Russian strategy in Syria. First of all, the US has to demonstrate the existence of the so-called “moderate rebels”. For that reason the topic of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) became popular in the US and European media. But what is the FSA?
FSA units were created about half a year after the start of the Syrian war.Turkey supported this idea. However, it always was a PR myth and never was a real power in the battlefield. The first FSA activity was noted in 2011 when its leader, a former colonel of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Riad al-Asaad made a statement about the creation of the FSA. Sunni deserters from the SAA became the core of the group. Turkey started supplies of arms and equipment, but there weren’t any confirmed reports of FSA operations.
In 2012, Riad al-Asaad was injured in a car incident and lost a leg. After this event FSA’s level of activity dropped even lower. Moreover, the local FSA units didn’t comply with Ankara orders. There wasb no central commander or a chain of command. In 2012, Turkey abandoned its attempts to turn the FSA into a real power in Syria. Separately, Washington didn’t support the FSA because of its minor role in Syria.
In the end of 2012, the FSA went into liquidation. Nonetheless, separate units still exist in the battlefield. Turkish intelligence services use them for their own purposes. In general, these units are based at Homs, Aleppo and in southern Syria. Another part of the FSA joined terrorist groups such as Al Nusra.
The so-called “Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army”, indeed, isn’t a part of the FSA. It consists of tribal people living at the border of Syria and Jordan.They fight only to defend their settlement zone. The 700 militants who surrendered to the Syrian government in Daraa were members of this tribal militia.
Indeed, the US has never supplied arms and equipment to the FSA. The FSA units didn’t include Qatari or Saudi mercenaries. It has always been a failed Syrian project.
Instead, Saudi mercenaries and members of the Saudi Special Forces have been actively participating in the Jabhatal-Nusra terrorist group and similar entities.
Thus, 90% of the so-called “Syrian rebels” are clearly terrorists supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other foreign players. The moderate opposition doesn’t exist, or at most it controls minor areas in some parts of Syria. So if theWhite House wants to prove that Russia bombs the wrong terrorists, it should show leaders of these so-called “moderate rebels”, their history of rebellion and distinct areas of their control. Otherwise the complaints about hitting wrong targets are pure and simple lies.