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FSA Commander Flees Syria

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Islamist fighters ran the top Western- backed rebel commander in Syria out of his headquarters, and he fled the country, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The Islamists also took over key warehouses holding U.S. military gear for moderate fighters in northern Syria over the weekend. The takeover and flight of Gen. Salim Idris of the Free Syrian Army shocked the U.S., which along with Britain immediately froze delivery of nonlethal military aid to rebels in northern Syria.

The turn of events was the strongest sign yet that the U.S.-allied FSA is collapsing under the pressure of Islamist domination of the rebel side of the war. It also weakened the Obama administration’s hand as it struggles to organize a peace conference next month bringing together rebels and the regime.

The peace conference is largely a ruse, anyway, as far as the US is concerned.

I still think there’s a chance to get the Syrian officer corps to deal with Assad, and there’s no particular reason to think that they’re radicalized. ┬áBut that’s much tougher to arrange, and in any event, Obama’s more worried about not ticking off the Iranians.

Posted in Foreign Policy.

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