Assad preparing to hand over Damascus to Daesh: FSA chief

Jun 01, 2015

Assad preparing to hand over Damascus to Daesh: FSA chief

01-06-2015: The Secretary-General of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Captain Ammar al-Wawi said yesterday, “Bashar al-Assad’s regime is preparing to hand over Damascus to elements of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (Daesh) in the event of its fall, but the rebels are aware of this,” adding that “preparations for this began more than a month-and-a-half ago.”

Speaking in a phone interview with ‘Al Rai,’ Captain al-Wawi (pictured) said, “Elements of Daesh have tried to infilitrate the Syrian capital through the East Ghouta region and have already appeared in various parts of Damascus including Qaboun, Barzeh and Tishreen, with the forces of Jaish al-Islam managing to confront them.” He added that “Daesh intends to use its expansion in Damascus as a means of further expanding to Jordan and the Gulf states.”

The FSA chief continued, “The Free Syrian Army and other moderate opposition forces are still waiting for international support, particularly from the ‘Friends of Syria’ nations and the US Coalition, which has claimed that it’s fighting Daesh so that Syria doesn’t completely collapse,” adding that Assad’s preparations to hand over Damascus to Daesh control are part of a cynical regime ploy to show the world that it is (supposedly) standing in the face of terrorism and its withdrawal will allow terrorism to spread.

Captain al-Wawi stressed that “coalition countries know very well about the significant progress made by the Daesh organisation in Iraq and Syria and quickly claimed that they’d provide qualitative military support and weapons to the moderate opposition, especially after the organisation [Daesh] has taken over more than half of Syria,” adding, “America seems shy of launching airstrikes against the organisation, as if the leaders don’t want to get rid of it.”

Captain al-Wawi said that Daesh can be eliminated only by ground forces, adding, “Fifteen years of airstrikes failed to eliminate al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.” He also pointed out, “Moderate opposition forces have laid out a plan to eliminate Daesh and the Syrian regime at the same time, but lack qualitative weapons, and while America’s claimed it’s training soldiers to eliminate Daesh it hasn’t taken any steps or made any move towards achieving this for over a year.”

Asked about reports that the FSA is attempting to claim priority in the Syrian revolution or claim the victories of the Islamist factions, including those of the ‘Army of Conquest’ for itself, Captain al-Wawi said, “The Army of Conquest has its own information office which is authorised to announce its victories, and there are a number of FSA battalions within its forces, including the Jungle Falcons and the 13th Brigade, and to ensure that there’s no tension, the FSA leaves announcements to the Army of Conquest.”

Report and photo from (Arabic):