Some FSA still looking to U.S. for support – NYT

A Free Syrian Army officer interviewed by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times told her the forces still had hope that the United States would help them remove President Bashar Assad from power in Syria, despite presently fighting U.S.-backed Kurdish militants.

“America has the ability to do anything,” she quoted Lt. Col. Muhammed Hammadin of the Levant Front, an FSA subgroup, as saying. “We look forward to them making the Assad regime leave.”

“Colonel Hammadin did not say how far his soldiers would go, but he ruled out any confrontation with American troops,” Gall wrote. “He said he hoped for the United States’ support against Mr. Assad.”

Many groups within the Free Syrian Army themselves had been trained by the CIA and Western allies in order to oust Assad, she wrote, and now the conflict has reached a stage where it is fighting another U.S.-trained force – the majority-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) – alongside Turkey in Afrin.

“The most important reason to fight them is that they are separatists,” Hammadin said. “They want their own cantons on the northern border.”

Many Syrian refugees in Turkey have begun volunteering to fight with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) alongside Turkey, Hammadin said.

“People are volunteering,” he said. “It’s good they want to apply, but our numbers are enough.”
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