Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Free Syrian Army Gen. Salem Idris Yet To Hear From D.C. About Promised 'Military Support'

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.

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“We are still waiting for the military support from the United States. They didn’t tell us anything about the military support. Direct and officially, we didn’t receive any information from the United States,” Idris told The Daily Beast, adding that he had heard from “my friends who are close to the administration” while waiting to hear directly. “We welcomed the announcement from the United States,” he said. “They announced that the regime used chemical weapons. But we are waiting for the next step, which will be the decision to support the FSA with weapons and ammunition.”
 
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 Fran├žois 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.

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