Col. Malik al-Kurdi, the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) deputy leader, said in an exclusive interview with Today’s Zaman that the FSA objects to any peace plan that keeps Bashar al-Assad as the president of Syria and they are determined to finish the revolution, whatever it takes.
“We said this from the very beginning. We want the Assad regime to fall. This regime committed slaughter and murders. Therefore we don’t want either Assad or his regime to remain,” al-Kurdi said. He expressed the determination of the FSA to oust Assad.
World leaders agreed at a meeting in Geneva on Saturday, organized by Annan, that a transitional government should be set up in Syria to end the conflict there. However, Annan failed to bridge differences between the West and Russia -- backed by China -- on whether Assad must resign.
The FSA’s al-Kurdi called on Iran and Russia, which back the embattled Syrian president, to cease their support for Assad. “The continuation of relations between the countries doesn’t happen with the leaders but the people. I hope they will correct their mistake.”
He argued that everybody knows that Iran has an alternative motive for backing Assad regime, which is a Shiite transformation of the Middle East. Al-Kurdi said from the beginning of the revolution that Syria was acting on the orders of Iran. “Iran is trying to reach its goal by using Nusayris [Arab Alawites] in Syria. Both sides -- Iran and the Assad regime -- have an interest in this deal,” he said and continued, “Russia also has an interest in it. Since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR] collapsed, the neighboring countries have left it alone. Libya and Iraq were under the influence of Russia. They all collapsed. The one and only remaining bastion is Syria.”
Al-Kurdi urged Russia to change its position because “the revolutionary movement in Syria is not a movement comprised of a couple of simple people.” He argued that Russian people are aware of this fact and they do not agree with their government regarding its Syrian policy.
Al-Kurdi explained that the opposition is working to get rid of a 50-year tyranny and said they are determined to end the revolution positively regardless of whatever it takes. “We started off in order to defend our freedom and honor. This fire of revolution cannot be extinguished with slaughters, murders, killing our women or setting our houses on fire. The public used to ask for reform, but now the people want the regime to go because of the cruelty [by the government forces]. The people have decided to keep up the revolution,” he said, adding the Syrian people are impressed by democratic advancements in Turkey.
The FSA colonel said the number of soldiers exceeded 100,000. He said the soldiers enter Turkey in groups every day. “Only in the recent days 300 soldiers and their families entered Turkey. I know that. And this number is growing every day. Assad’s troops and [the pro-Assad militia group] Shebbia are demoralized. The morale of FSA is strong. Although it has only light weapons, its morale is very high,” Al-Kurdi said, noting that the FSA is in need of heavy weaponery that they can use against tanks, helicopters and war planes. “They bomb everybody, including those who carry out demonstrations or who are going to funeral prayers,” he added.