Special to WorldTribune.com
LONDON — The opposition plans to expand military operations against
the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) intends to establish what was termed a national
military council. The Army, commanded by Col. Riyad Assad and based in
Turkey, said the anti-Assad force has reached 15,000 fighters, most of them
defectors from the Syrian military.
In an interview with the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat, Assad said the Free Syrian Army had suspended operations to allow the Arab League to reach a diplomatic solution with the regime in Damascus.
But Assad said the resurgence of the killing of protesters earlier this month violated an agreement to halt the violence.
“Today, after its true intentions have been exposed, we will resume military operations and will operate in a larger scale,” Free Syrian Army’s Assad said. “We will have a special program that will be announced when the time comes.”
The FSA commander said the rebel army was growing steadily. He said soldiers were defecting daily and joining the rebels in what has tripled the opposition force over the last two months.
“Defectors join our ranks day by day, and I can confirm that FSA has
more than 15,000 soldiers,” FSA’s Assad said. “I will work to establish a military council as soon as possible.”
Turkey has hosted the FSA leadership in refugee camps along the border
with Syria. The Syrian opposition commander has been given protection by
Ankara, but he said the Turkish military was not coordinating with FSA.
“There is no security coordination with Turkey, and the support that we
have received is limited to humanitarian assistance,” FSA’s Assad said.