Elements in foreign-backed FSA militants oppose Syria truce
Elements inside the so-called Free Syrian Army, which has been designated by the United States and allies as moderate opposition in Syria, have threatened to ignore an imminent lull in the fighting agreed by warring sides in the Arab country.
The Lebanese-based al-Mayadeen TV on Tuesday quoted a commander of Ahrar ash-Sham militants as saying that his group will not participate in the ceasefire deal planned for the end of February unless the al-Nusra Front terrorist group is included in the deal.
“Several FSA brigades announced of the refusal to join the ceasefire in Syria if it does not apply to the Nusra Front,” said the commander, whose name was not mentioned.
The United States and Russia announced on Monday that they had reached a deal for ceasefire in Syria beginning on February 27. The agreement has excluded groups such as Nusra and Daesh.
The FSA, which has been labeled as moderate by the US, has enjoyed extensive support by Washington and other members of the so-called coalition that has been conducting airstrikes against purported positions of the Daesh terrorists. The US government has provided the FSA with training and weapons in the hope that it could counter Daesh. The assistance program was officially discontinued in October 2015 with US government reportedly spending USD 500 million in aid to the FSA.
Syria is in the midst of deadly turmoil with government forces and allies, backed by Russia’s air cover, battling terrorist groups across the Arab country. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have managed over the past few weeks to recapture major positions from Daesh and al-Nusra in the north. More than 470,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced in Syria since March 2011.