What is the Obama-backed Free Syrian Army?

By:  Alex Newman
09/18/2013
       
What is the Obama-backed Free Syrian Army?

Among the most frequent entities mentioned as worthy of U.S. government support is the so-called Free Syrian Army. What is the Free Syrian Army, really?

As weapons and supplies funded by U.S. taxpayers pour into Syria in a bid to help Western-backed Islamist rebels take down the Assad regime, the Obama administration and its apologists continue to insist that the aid is meant to bolster “moderate” or even “secular” opposition fighters. Among the most frequent entities mentioned as worthy of U.S. government support is the so-called Free Syrian Army — an Islamist-dominated outfit overseen by a Syrian military defector that helps distribute military weaponry and other goods provided by the Obama administration, Western governments, and a coalition of Islamist dictators hoping to unseat their secular counterpart in Damascus.

The outfit’s main selling point appears to be that, as opposed to the more effective fighting forces in Syria, the Free Syrian Army is not technically al-Qaeda. But what is the Free Syrian Army, really? No two analysts have the same answer. To some, the Free Syrian Army is the group that sent a spokesperson to tell the world that it was preparing an ethnic cleansing program targeting Shia Muslims and Alawites. Among warmongers, especially American "neocons" such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the Obama administration, the FSA is touted as a heroic organization that should be propped up even more heavily than it is — even after McCain’s “moderate” FSA rebels turned out to be kidnappers. To others, the “army” is really an “army in name only.”

Virtually everyone agrees, however, that it is dominated by Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and various other hardline Salafist groups known for violently seeking sharia law and strict enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. In December of 2012, Reuters, among numerous other establishment sources, reported that the Free Syrian Army had chosen a leader for its new “Islamist-dominated command.” At a meeting in Turkey attended by hundreds of rebel leaders, Western officials, and representatives of Gulf Arab autocracies, a new 30-member “Supreme Military Council” packed with Muslim radicals was selected.

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Photo of Free Syrian Army fighters: AP Images

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