By Mick Krever, CNN
General Salim Idriss, chief of staff of the opposition Free Syria Army, hopes that promised American weapons will be enough to bolster his troops.
“It is very important now to strengthen the moderate FSA fighters,” Idriss told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
In an interview with PBS that aired on Monday, President Barack Obama voiced the concern many skeptics harbor about heavily arming Syria’s opposition.
“Some of the most effective fighters within the opposition have been those who frankly are not particularly towards the United States of America,” Obama said. “Arming them willy nilly is not a good recipe for meeting American interests over the long term.”
Idriss said that the extremist groups about which Obama worries are fighting less in the major cities of Western Syria, and instead are vying for control of the “oil fiends and gas fields” in the Eastern part of the country.
“We need really support from our friends in the United States to be powerful,” Idriss said, “to put an end to the regime and not to allow these groups to have an important role in the future of Syria.”