The Free Syrian Army (FSA ) in losing ground to the Islamists and jihadists after the main rebel army forces supported by the West, has suffered another setback after the suspension by Washington and London of their non-lethal aid.
This weakening of the rebellion comes as preparations are underway to bring regime and opposition around the same table in January at a conference meant to find a solution to more than two and half years of conflict international peace.
Diplomats told AFP that the conference , originally scheduled in Geneva , will finally be held in Montreux on Lake Geneva.The announcement by the United States and Britain to suspend their non-lethal assistance to the rebels came after Islamist fighters seized a key crossing the Turkish border, seats ASL and its armories .
Tensions mounted between the Islamic Front , created in November by the merger of seven Islamist groups , and ASL , the rebel coalition headed by the exiled opposition , although both sides are fighting for the fall of the regime of Bashar al Assad.
In early December, the Islamic Front announced leaving the staff of ASL , saying he was no longer acting , further accentuating the fragmentation of the rebellion.” It is clear that the staff of the ASL is becoming weaker and lost power ,” said Aron Lund, an expert on Syrian rebels based in Sweden , adding that ” ASL lost significant groups of fighters with the creation of Islamic ” Front.
According to him, the loss of key passage from Bab al -Hawa , to the Turkish border, means that the Chief of Staff of the ASL , Salim Idriss, “could no longer enter Syria .”News reports had said Wednesday that General Idriss fled the headquarters of the ASL in Bab al -Hawa and was in Qatar before being denied by the rebels.
” The staff refutes the lies spread about the departure of General Salim Idriss to a Gulf state and ensures that it is present and continues its activities ,” said a statement Thursday from the ASL.
Since the revolt against the regime, the peaceful departure , was militarized face fierce repression, deserters and civilians who took up arms came together under the umbrella of the ASL before groups , including Islamists, begin gradually to act independently.
Rise of jihadist
The deal was further complicated with the rise of jihadist groups , while also fighting the Assad regime , engaged in struggle and gangland with other rebel groups. The Assad regime for its part argues fight what he called ” terrorist ” in this war that has claimed more than 126,000 lives since March 2011.Few rebel groups continue to be overseen by the ASL recognize that this army has never had the support she claimed .” From the beginning, the Islamist battalions were the only ones to receive help ,” even when they were in the ASL says Selim Hijazi , head of Liwa al-Sham , which is part of the staff ASL .
Since the Islamic Front, ” ASL has been completely deprived of support ,” he says via Skype.And the suspension of non- lethal aid to London and Washington comes to bear especially a moral blow to the ASL , even if the aid was limited to military rations , bullet-proof vests , uniforms, tents, binoculars , radios and medical equipment.Khaled Saleh, spokesman for the Coalition, however, wanted downplayed its importance , saying that it was ” not a serious problem.”
Since the militarization of the uprising in Syria , Western countries refuse to provide arms to the rebels for fear of them falling into the hands of jihadi groups .In the summer , the Americans had canceled a strike against the accused of leading chemical attack near Damascus has claimed hundreds of dead, to the chagrin of rebels hoping for a change in the balance of power system.
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