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FSA commander Salim Idris Photo: AP
FSA commander Salim Idris Photo: AP
 
 

Syrian rebel leader: Britain betrayed us

Free Syrian Army commander outraged after UK abandons plans to arm opposition. 'What is the West waiting for? For Iran and Hezbollah to kill all the Syrian people,' General Salim Idris asks

Ynet
Published: 07.16.13, 08:45 / Israel News

Syria's top rebel commander has accused David Cameron of betrayal after the British prime pinister abandoned plans to arm the Syrian opposition, Britain's The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

 

General Salim Idris, head of the Free Syrian Army, said the decision would "leave us alone to be killed" by President Bashar Assad, and pave the way for al-Qaeda to dominate the rebel ranks.

 

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"What are our friends in the West waiting for?" Idris asked. "For Iran and Hezbollah to kill all the Syrian people?"

 

"The West promises and promises. This is a joke now," he concluded.


"המערב מבטיח ומבטיח, עכשיו זו בדיחה". סלים אידריס (צילום: AFP)

'Western promises are a joke'. Salim Idris (Photo: AFP)

 

"I have not had the opportunity to ask David Cameron personally if he will leave us alone to be killed," Idris said. "On behalf of all the Syrians, thank you very much".

 

It has recently been reported that Assad's forces have but completely taken over Homs, one of the main battle arenas in Syria's two-year-long civil war.

 

Idris warned that the refusal of the West to arm the more moderate elements of the insurgency would hand Syria's "revolution" to extremist groups, who already have better access to weapons.

 

"Soon there will be no FSA to arm," he said. "The Islamic groups will take control of everything, and this is not in the interests of Britain".

 

According to The Telegraph, Cameron ruled out arming the Syrian opposition on advice from the British military. The government had previously hinted that it was strongly considering it, successfully lobbying two months ago for an end to the European Union arms embargo, the report said.

 

On Monday, at least 42 people were killed in Syria, 29 of them in Syrian air forces strikes in the northern district of Idlib, and the rest in a car bomb in Damascus.

 

Meanwhile, it appears the UK is not the only one hesitating about sending weapons to the rebels. Last week, US defense officials said that two congressional intelligence committees are delaying the dispatch of weapons for fear they will fall into the hands of Islamist extremists.

 

According to the report, the committee members fear that the weapons will end up with the Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group. They also asked the administration for clarification on its Syrian policy and the projected impact arming the rebels would have on the civil war.

 

 

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