The FSA was the baby of the NATO alliance. It had everything: an oddball but charismatic hayseed commander, Col. Hussein Harmoush; another charismatic yokel by the name of Col. Riad Al-As’ad as his heir apparent; it had Qatar’s money; Turkey’s indulgences; the NYT, the BBC, WP, AP, Reuters, CNN and every single western media source at its service. It also had Robert Ford, the mastermind of its rise to fame so covertly handling its public relations – doggedly pursuing its interest as though it were a long-awaited male child. It had everything but one crucial element: troops.
That’s right, readers, the FSA was a bag of gas. That is until Robert Ford and his Qatari allies decided to fatten the FSA with fighters of a different drum. The FSA was partly deserters and mostly Sunni civilians whose only motivation was either overthrowing the self-perceived minority government of Dr. Bashar Al-Assad or, in rare instances, promoting a Western-style democratic agenda. But, there was not enough people to defeat an army as large and as well-trained as Syria’s. The fattening element had certain unstable characteristics – like nitroglycerin. In the hands of a sober, rational adult, the medicine had great palliative qualities. In the hands of fanatic Islamists, well, that was a different matter.
Robert Ford, disgraced and inept former U.S. ambassador to Damascus was on a mission. You see, he arranged for every kind of support for his FSA, and then, when it was obvious it was a bit understaffed to say the least, he opted for the Islamist Jihadist solution. The Brits could have easily told him that without the Jabhat Al-Nusra, the FSA would amount to nothing more than acne for the Syrian government.
Poor Robert Ford; poor FSA; they just don’t get it. One problem they had was the popularity of the president they were trying to oust. Not easy when even Sunnis supported him.
Well, as time went on, it became very clear that the FSA could never garner enough support or deserters to make it a formidable army. SyrPer has learned from Aslan and Wael, both of whom are in a position to know these things, that most FSA deserters refuse to fight if Islamists take the lead. In fact, the overwhelming number of officers remain cloistered in Apaydin while the brunt of the terrorism is credited to the Islamists. While the FSA appears to be mostly secular in nature, the Jabhat Al-Nusra is openly Islamist and radically so. It is, after all, a franchise of Al-Qaeda.
With the FSA, as feckless as it is, being unable to unite under one command and, therefore, incapable of presenting itself to the world with a single-minded loyalty to the new Ford-created NACOSROF, the foreign-based opposition could not even tout their military arm as something in their own bag of tricks. Just the opposite. The FSA has yet to declare any fealty to NACOSROF or its cleric-leader, Ahmad Mu’adh Al-Khatib. And now, one unit of the Jabhat Al-Nusra has threatened to “sever the head of Al-Khatib” for suggesting negotiations with the Assad admininstration. What a mess!
What preceded this paragraph has much to do with why Al-Khatib is now seeking to communicate directly with Dr. Assad. Al-Khatib has probably absorbed enough information to figure out that any country he liberates will be a waste land if these terrorist criminals are allowed to persist in horrifying the people he most desires to help. Al-Khatib has also seen the writing on the wall: Robert Ford is not long for his post as chief terrorist enabler. Saudi Arabia is back-tracking. Russia and Iran are not breaking with Dr. Assad. The Syrian Army is growing stronger. The terrorists are losing every battle. How long can Al-Khatib maintain the pretense that his organization should be accorded any credibility?
Al-Khatib’s organization erupted in much vitriol after he announced his willingness to meet with Farouq Al-Shara’, the aging and ailing Syrian V.P. Syria has rejected the offer to meet with Al-Shara’. Syria has also rejected Al-Khatib’s demand for release of all prisoners but held out the possibility that travel documents for the opposition criminals could be renewed. Yet, it appears Al-Khatib has missed the point in all this.
When Al-Khatib went to Russia, Sergei Lavrov told him through his assistant, Mr. Gatilov, that he is looking at the following:
1. An increase in Russian and Iranian support for President Assad;
2. A gradual decrease in American commitment to the ouster of Pres. Assad;
3. A qualitative improvement in Syrian Army capabilities;
4. A solidification of Jordanian, Iraqi, Lebanese and Iranian tactics to fight the opposition militarily.
5. A retrenchment in Saudi Arabia fearing an economic upheaval.
6. A continued rise in President Assad’s popularity.
With this kind of information, Al-Khatib knew that the effort was hopeless. He could only risk the inevitable vituperations of his opposition colleagues by suggesting negotiations with the Syrian government, once considered an absolute taboo and treason to the movement to unseat the government of Syria. Here is what Al-Khatib knows about his own movement:
1. Like Hamas and Fatah, the internal ideological differences are too wide to be breached;
2. NACOSROF has no ability to control the military situation;
3. NACOSROF will become a target of Jabhat Al-Nusra as it becomes more flexible;
4. The organization does not have enough money to establish a government in exile nor does it have any territory on Syrian soil where it can establish such a government.
This leader of NACOSROF was picked by Robert Ford because it was thought he could appeal to both Islamist hard-liners and secularists. He appealed to no one.
With no chance that his organization could impose its will on the military situation, and with a membership more akin to feuding tribes, Al-Khatib now finds himself absolutely tied to Dr. Assad who will probably cut him loose anyway. Without Dr. Assad’s support, Al-Khatib will most likely find himself floating in bankruptcy as he wends his way from one European capital to another gradually sloughing off his most sacred conditions for peace. This is the end of Al-Khatib.
In the meantime, despite ridiculous reports in the Western media. the SAA is trouncing the FSA and its Islamist allies. We have written ad nauseam about the failure of Operation Zero Hour – how it was supposed to bolt the terrorist army into the center of Damascus. That was a disaster. So far, since the start of this ill-fated operation, over 9,320 terrorists have been killed. The number wounded is in the tens of thousands. FSA deserters are not proving themselves numerous enough or brave enough to change the course of the battle; all this while the Syrian Army has graduated over 30,000 new anti-insurgency troops and militia – all committed to the defeat of the terrorists.
In the meantime, Lebanon has finally started to get serious about its “detachment” policy with Syria. More and more terrorists are being forced to enter at the Tal-Kalakh entryway only to be massacred by alert and prepared Syrian border guards and troops. Jordan has sealed its borders and arrested each and every terrorist trying to cross into Syria. Iraq has also sealed its borders to the best of its ability and has recorded several victories in capturing aspiring terrorist rats.
Mu’az Al-Khatib should consider applying for landed immigrant status in Canada. Or maybe even Australia where true Syrian patriots can find a way to put him to out of his misery.
Let us declare that we at SyrPer are opposed to any accommodation, concession or gesture with regard to the terrorist enemies and their foreign supporters. No negotiations. Period. Long live Dr. Bashar Al-Assad; our great Syrian Army; our wonderful security services and most of all: The People of Syria. Ziad Amin Abu Fadel, Esq.