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Free Syrian Army arming al Qaeda, ISIL commander claims



Buried at the end of this Al Jazeera story on tensions between the Free Syrian Army and an al Qaeda affiliate, a leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed that the FSA is selling weapons to the terror group:

And we asked its vali [wali] - or governor of Allepo province, Abu Atheer - why some accuse them of trying to weaken Syrian opposition groups by taking control over border villages.

He didn't want to be filmed. But he told us: if we wanted to cut the supply lines it is easier for us to take the warehouses of the FSA. Anyhow we are buying weapons from the FSA. we bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.

If confirmed, purchasing weapons from the Free Syria Army won't be good news for the West.

It is men like these the West doesn't want to arm and it has urged the FSA to retake areas under their control. It could be a recipe for yet another war within a war that will decide the new face of Syria.

The US government believes it can vet the Free Syrian Army and distribute weapons to trusted groups. How the Obama administration believes it can do this when it doesn't have a significant presence in Syria defies explanation.



READER COMMENTS: "Free Syrian Army arming al Qaeda, ISIL commander claims"

Posted by mike merlo at July 16, 2013 12:50 AM ET:

"The US government believes it can vet the Free Syrian Army and distribute weapons to trusted groups. How the Obama administration believes it can do this when it doesn't have a significant presence in Syria defies explanation."

Maybe 'this' is part AG Holder's Fast & Furious operation.

Posted by Scott J at July 16, 2013 2:38 PM ET:

Nice find, Bill.

Of course, this transfer of weapons is something any close observer of this conflict knows is all but inevitable. In the fog of war, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the west is incredibly foolish and naive to think otherwise. Perhaps more likely, these public statements about "vetting" the rebels are outright lies. It seems inconceivable that they could actually believe what they're saying.

I am just aghast and disgusted by the thought of arming these people. And it is personal. My son fought these same AQI people in Iraq and was seriously wounded in 2007. I never in my wildest dreams thought that six years later our government would dishonor our veterans and spit on the graves of our dead like they are doing now.

I've sent letters and emails to the president and all my congressional representatives. It's as if those messages just go into thin air and disappear.

Bill, how do we get our government to stop this?

Posted by Jeff Edelman at July 16, 2013 7:52 PM ET:

If I may, Bill. Dear Scott, we can't get our government to stop this. This is Obama's wish. The establishment of the caliphate. Libya (a work in progress) Egypt (currently hanging in the balance) and now Syria (a quagmire). Oh, and probably Afghanistan after 2014. Then there is Iraq where the only question is which type of islam will reign -- sunni or shia. If you think I'm full of it, just remember I told you from the outset that Benghazi wasn't about "the video."

Posted by davidp at July 22, 2013 7:11 AM ET:

A good find and a good response to our questions. Thank you Bill.
I'm not sure I believe the ISIL. It depends on how much they are trying to make trouble for the FSA. Surely they know how much people are worried that arming the FSA will arm the al-quaeda types, so is this disinformation by them? More arms to the FSA means a relatively weaker ISIL. With the ISIL physically attaching "pro-western" FSA groups, is this an information attack on them?