Known generically as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), this assortment of mostly secular defecting Sunni Arab officers and mostly Islamist volunteers has attempted several reorganizations. The most recent of these is now seriously threatened by a resignation threat from senior commanders.
On August 22, four of the five front commanders threatened to resign from the SMC, promising to break “red lines” and work “with all forces fighting in Syria,” a clear reference to the war’s growing Salafist-Jihadist contingent. The statement was read by Colonel Fatih Hasun, who is the commander of the SMC’s Homs Front and the deputy chief-of-staff, that is to say, Idriss’s deputy and the most senior officer inside the country.
This is the least shocking thing ever, because as had been reported all along, including by this site, the actual brigades on the ground are Islamist and the FSA’s Islamists cooperate with Al Nusra Islamists.
The recent high profile Elizabeth O’Bagy article, quoted by Senator McCain, claiming that the FSA is moderate, is a collection of crazy distortions of these basic facts.
There is no secular force on the ground. Even FP absurdly discusses moderate Salafists.
The relatively moderate Salafist Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), which is tied to the SMC, also appears to be moving toward the more militant Salafist wing of the opposition
The SILF is only moderate if you compare it to Al Qaeda. And you can always find a moderate reference point for Al Qaeda. The SILF ironically consists of brigades that are also sorta part of the Free Syrian Army which tells you all you need to know about that.
Ahmad Abu Issa al-Shaykh, the head of the SILF, openly defended Jabhat al-Nusra as a legitimate part of the opposition in an interview with Al Jazeera, despite his ideological differences with the group.
Why wouldn’t he?
Even Idris, the guy McCain posed for photos with, the moderate commander-on-paper of the whole shebang, defended the Al Nusra Front.
This is who Obama and McCain want us to hand over a whole country to. No thanks.