As the French arrange high-level meetings with the rebel leadership, the U.S. continues to maintain its distance. General Idris talks with The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin.
Despite the White House’s public announcement Wednesday that it would provide “military assistance” to the Syrian rebels, Washington has yet to communicate with the rebels about that assistance, Gen. Salem Idris, the head of the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, told The Daily Beast Sunday.
Much like in the Libyan civil war two years ago, the White House has followed Europe’s lead in the intra-Syrian conflict. The French, and to a lesser degree the British, have been in close consultation with Idris and the other leaders of the FSA over the past days and weeks, according to the general, who said that he met privately on June 11 with French President François Hollande in Ankara, Turkey, after the French government decided to provide military assistance on June 5, according to two government officials and sources close to Idris.