[On Aug. 2, the European Union expanded its sanctions on the Assad
regime. In the latest move, the EU added Syrian Defense Minister Ali Habib,
Syrian military intelligence commander Mohammed Moufleh, internal security
chief Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Yunis and two others to an EU asset freeze and visa
The statement, posted on YouTube, showed Assad surrounded by seven
people identified as officers. The colonel said the rebel military would
target Assad's security forces, blamed for the killing of 1,800 civilians
"From now on, the security forces that kill civilians and besiege cities
will be treated as legitimate targets," Assad, named interim commander of
the rebel force, said. "We will target them in all parts of the Syrian
territories without exception."
The others in the video were identified as Col. Ahmed Hijazi, named
deputy rebel commander. Lt. Col. Abdul Satar Yunsu was said to have been the
commander of the Hamza Khatib Battalion; Capt. Ibrahim Majbur was named
chief of the Hurriya Battalion; and Capt. Ala Al Din was commander of
the Qashush Battalion.
"We announce the formation of the Free Syrian Army to work hand-in-hand
with the people to achieve freedom and dignity to bring this regime down,
protect the revolution and the country's resources, and stand in the face of
the irresponsible military machine that protects the regime," Assad said.
Opposition sources said hundreds of army soldiers and officers fled
their units over the last three months. They said some of them have joined
the revolt against Assad while others fled to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon
"We call on the numerous honorable officers in the Syrian Army to
immediately defect from, stop pointing their rifles at the people's chests,
join the Free Army, and form a national army that can protect the revolution
and all sections of the Syrian people with all their sects," Assad said.