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New leader of the Free Syrian Army: We warned the Americans about ISIS​

August 29th, 2014
10:10 AM ET

by Henry Hullah

The Free Syrian Army is on the verge of collapse.

Fighting on two fronts, it is not only battling the Assad regime but must also stop the march of the barbaric militant group ISIS across Syria.

For General Abd al-Ilah al-Bashir, the newly appointed leader of the FSA, continued American airstrikes could be key to aiding his army's fight against ISIS.

"The American airstrikes could help the revolutionaries to destroy this organization and make them step back," he told the program.

Christiane Amanpour asked the leader of the Free Syrian Army if he had been in contact with the American government as the threat of ISIS began to grow in Syria, were they made aware of just how big a threat this group could have grown to be?

"We met with the Americans a few times and we warned them of the danger of this organization and we showed our readiness to fight against them because it's dangerous, not only for the region, but the whole world," the General said.

"We are ready to defend the whole world. But we did not get much support or help to do that."

Earlier in the week, The U.K.'s Ambassador to the United Nations told the program that "ISIS is a monster that the Frankenstein of Assad has largely created". The General made clear that he also believed the government of Bashar al-Assad is to blame for this barbaric organisation. ​

"We are convinced that it is part of the Assad regime. And they have complete coordination with members of this regime and they lead and they coordinate with the Syrian regime."

'It's like cutting one finger at a time until you have cut the entire hand'

Al-Bashir told Christiane Amanpour that his forces in the field are on the brink of defeat because they simply do not have the weapons.

"We, the FSA, we are asking for the minimum possible to continue fighting. The help we're getting is limited, it's not enough, just enough to continue fighting, not to win. We are fighting in two fronts, one against the regime and one against ISIS. They are, little by little, occupying the land that we liberated and it's like cutting one finger at a time until you have cut the entire hand, that's what they are doing and they are going slowly but firmly."

"They have the weapons; we don't have enough weapons to defend and that's what's happening because we are divided."

If they do not get the supplies they require, Amanpour asked, what would be the nightmare scenario for General al-Bashir.

"My worst nightmare is ISIS growing and the regime militia growing as well. That is happening because we are not getting support from the countries helping us and especially the United States. They are not dealing with the leadership of the FSA in a serious way."

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Syria
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. StanCalif

    Okay, you warned America. So what? Is America responsible for saving your a**? NOT anymore, thank you Obama! All of you Muslims must learn to live in peace with each other, why is this so impossible? When you mix religion with politics and war, there is no good outcome. You all worship the same "Allah", yet you hate each other with a passion. Solve this "hate" problem and you solve your problems. We Americans cannot do this for you. We wasted so much in Iraq and Afghanistan, for what? We, the US, trained military officers in Iraq to be able to defend Iraq. What does your "democratically elected" President do? He dismisses many of them for not being the "right kind of Muslim". Your soldiers go into combat, with no trained leadership but equipped with US supplied arms and equipment. What do they do? At the first sign of conflict, they do not stand and fight. They throw down their weapons, tear off their uniforms and run away. All of this abandoned equipment is picked up and put to good use against you!
    You need to solve your own problems! We, the US, cannot do this for you. We tried, but the results were just another war.
    As an American citizen, I do not want another American life lost in your twisted ideas. No election is going to solve this. You have all proven yourselves completely unworthy of any further American or European intervention. Now it is YOUR time to solve what problems you have with each other.

    August 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Satadru Sengupta

      Praiseworthy response, howsoever, flawed and misplaced it might be. You seem to forget that it was Americans who, for their own selfish interests had once instigated the rise of Muslim factions, militant movements in the name of religion, etc. An example, if I may, look up the history of the Taliban and the Mujaheddin of Afghanistan.

      We once had the British Empire following a divide-and-rule policy barely a century ago. Now we have American hegemony to contend with.

      The effects of September 11, 2011 regrettably are not confined to the shores of the US alone. It affects us all; no matter which corner of our planet we might inhabit.

      Its time the Americans learned to clean up their act. The quicker the better.

      August 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • zeke

      You are quite correct..

      September 1, 2014 at 12:59 am | Reply
    • George

      ISIS is acting brutally against Muslims....torturing Muslims by inflicting their own interpretation on Islamic way of living.......Indirectly it is a plot to unite Muslims and teach them on the need to be more peace loving and not to inflict their religious ideas on the rest of the world....A wonderful plot by the jewish brained America..........

      September 2, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply
  2. Jorge

    Damns americans created ISIS now they wil pay with their own blood

    August 29, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  3. robertcaruso

    Reblogged this on Rocky Shoals .

    August 30, 2014 at 12:13 am | Reply
  4. Amelia

    Mmmmmm interesting whats happening in the world. The whole world focusing on the conflict (all going to plan as intended) while Iran is preparing there 5 year plan preparing there nuclear weapons one does not need to be a rocket scientist to work this out. The plan is all unfolding create conflict for all the world to concentrate on .while the big bang is on its way Lol .So what do you think about my theory ?Iran want the whole world to become Islamic. All surrounding goverments Iraq Syria including others are only puppets for Iran . One finger at a time.

    August 30, 2014 at 5:40 am | Reply
    • Ahmad

      wow Amelia you just got it by the neck. thats very true .. all the worlds attention diverted where iran plans ahead on establishing its power all around the gulf.. it sound so funny " The U.K.'s Ambassador to the United Nations told the program that "ISIS is a monster that the Frankenstein of Assad has largely created". Seriously feel like some stupid kids talking to blind kids.. they dont even know what they are saying.. media is manipulating everyone to support the cause very well..

      September 1, 2014 at 2:33 am | Reply
    • George

      America and allies are creating a deliberate terror in the minds of peace loving world.........ISIS is a few perverted mercenaries who acts according to whims and fancies of the western world......Now they want the people to believe these myths ....Infact ISIS is acting based on a screenplay by Obama Admin......American non interference in Iraq clearly proves it...........I don't think that there is any causalities for ISIS actors in the So called Airstrikes.......Airstrikes are meant for fooling the world...Any way some sunnis,shias, Yazidis and Iraqi Christians were tortured to give believable colour to this drama......the Aim is to vicariously control the oil wealth and Politics of Syria and Iraq and give a camouflage for the Israeli attack and massacre of civilians in Palastein....Multiple advantage.....Why did trained Iraqi Army with sophisticated wepons retreat when they saw crude infantry on Toyota pickup vans coming against them.....What happened to Iraqi Airforce? Why did America who send their Aircraft career to the region did not interfere even when Maliqi called for help........This proves that ISIS is a creation of the west to poltically interfere in Iraq and Syria..........Now they are spreading the story of attack on American soil and U.K.......May be to interfere militarily in the region and make their own citizens believe that the cost incurred in the Military intervention is inevitable ......The stories of ISIS recruitment from various nations are CIA masterminded incidents to add on to the colour for their drama.....

      September 2, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
  5. Eric Sykes

    Free Syria Army, what a joke! You gotta love the way the United States government is totally shirking responsibility for the development and growth of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the entire debacle happening in those regions – especially when destabilizing the governments of both Iraq and Syria, along with the governments of five other Arab nations, was precisely what they wanted to do from the beginning. A former four-star military general, you may know of him as Wesley Clark (he does cameos on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News from time to time) stood before an audience and disclosed information on a classified U.S. operation to disrupt and destabilize the governments of seven Arab nations – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Iran, Libya, and Sudan. He actually attested to being in the Pentagon at the time, serving in a four-star general capacity, being briefed on the operation by a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer and actually being presented with a memo about the operation AND THE BEAUTIFUL PART IS VIDEO OF HIM GIVING THE SPEECH IS ON YOUTUBE! The link is below:

    You also gotta love the way opposition forces, the Free Syria Army, staged fake massacres, using props, fake blood, and actors. The U.S. government and the news media (mainly CNN and BBC) and knowingly colluded with these people and showed the material to American audiences as propaganda against the Syrian government and to give justification for the U.S. government providing material support and funding for so-called "moderate opposition" forces, these Fake Syria Army goons:

    The Obama Administration itself was even in on the action. John Kerry stood before and audience to speak about supposed chemical attacks in Syria using media depicting rows of dead bodies due to the supposed chemical attacks. It was later proven that the media he used was of an incident unrelated to Syria:

    The average American should be totally outraged by this, but they're not. They're too busy with their iphones and ipads, totally acrid, self-centered, and myopic snapping selfies and obsessing over facebook.

    August 30, 2014 at 5:41 am | Reply
    • Reza

      Your argument looks like those cyber mercenaries of Iranian regime.

      August 31, 2014 at 1:35 am | Reply
      • Eric Sykes

        I'm just an American citizen who pays close attention to the news, and I DO NOT appreciate being lied to! Our government and the media, CNN being a chief culprit, systematically lied, postured, and were both party to and fabricating "evidence" to sway public opinion in favor of the government to justify support in a conspiracy which caused THE WORST HUMAN RIGHTS CATASTROPHE EVER, and frankly I believe everyone involved in the conspiracy should be brought up on criminal charges.

        August 31, 2014 at 2:56 am |
    • George

      Free Syrian Army.....A group of mercenaries cherished and nourished by America and allies to interfere with the Syrian government.........they failed inspite of the wepon support from the west.....And when the west found them ineffective they came with a new arm and that is ISIS , an American stage play..........

      September 2, 2014 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • amir jabril

      And the proof of all of this is where example. and just because ur american don't mean dick about where u get ur info from. As a Muslim I don't like US foreign policy but as an African i hate even more racist white american red necks who make up excuses to try and justify ur hatred to the world of ur nations first black president.

      September 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Eric Sykes

        Hey dude, I'm black.

        September 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
  6. John Sullivan

    I so agree with Eric Sykes about the way the media and governments preach their gospel of lies to the general public. It happens in ALL countries and we, the idiots, believe it all.
    Also, why should one nation(USA) have to be the one to take up the burden of policing the world on its own. Where are the rest of the so-called 'United Nations' in all this? Isn't it time that this world organised itself against an almost united Islamic State? We should support the USA to finish this endless fighting once and for all.
    Governments should stop supporting the weapons industries, and their billionaire mates!!

    August 31, 2014 at 5:56 am | Reply
    • monk

      Giving message to John Sullivan. The UN Peace Keeping Forces are on the North Eastern side of Israel patrolling. The supposed AlQueda group has been giving the Peace Keepers are tough time and currently the UN peace keepers from Ireland are trying to help a group of Phillipino UN peacekeepers that are isolated by the Al Queda. It is on The Irish Times and The Irish Independent and RTE 1 as well as RTE 2. I had not seen or heard about any active peace keeping forces until I went out of the country. I agree, that the NEWS outlets are running for the ratings without verifying sources and accuracy. I also agree that somebody is up to something BIG – and its not the ISIS, Israeli, Libian, Syrian or Iraq. Russia ? North Korea ? What are the Chinese doing these days besides running slave factories ? And then we always have Iran – but you would think they would have done something by now ! I dislike FOX news because it is really judgmental in my opinion. I try to listen to the same stories from different agencies. It appears that NO ONE really has the truth. Example Putin spoke at a youth rally. Did he really say 'Nuclear' when he was talking about the Ukraine ? I have read SEVERAL different versions of what he is supposed to have said. The EU FINALLY sent a strong message to Russia with sanctions and basically said GET OUT of the Ukraine – we will see how UNITED the EU is now. Who is still Russia's friend ? Whose market is affected the most by not exporting goods to Russia from the EU ? I do not think the US ever gets the entire story – we are just worried about politics and our voting party ...and maybe that small group ISIS because it sounds like the book of Revelation (you know how the Bible Belt Christians are – its the end of the World due to sin etc etc). ISIS is not the top headline in Europe, the Ukraine is with Russia rolling in. So who can tell us what is going to happen – please not FOX news or some evangelical group (the make good profit money from fear)?

      August 31, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Reply
      • Eric Sykes

        On the topic of Russia and the Ukraine, I believe that dealing with Russia in a real and decisive manner is hampered due to the fact that economic sanctions just aren't really that effective – and a lot of it has to do with U.S. economic policies in place which have, FOR DECADES, allowed nefarious groups and individuals like Russian oligarchs, drug cartels, and terrorists the ability to subvert economic sanctions altogether. One of these vehicles, and perhaps the most powerful one, are American business incorporation statutes allowing the existence of "shell companies". Approximately 44 states within the U.S. have business incorporation policies that allow individuals to officially start a business with less information than it would take to acquire a friggin library card – I'm talkin no name, no address of the individual, no kind of identifying information linking that person to the business whatsoever. Business incorporators can instead use proxies or "trusted agents", someone who can intercept mail or other correspondence on behalf of the business. These proxies or "trusted agents" are not legally liable to the business at all. They aren't required to relinquish any information on who actually controls the business at all, they can just simply plead rights afforded to them by the Fifth Amendment and remain silent. This makes prosecuting and carrying out tort claims in court as well as criminal prosecutions considerably difficult. Thanks to these state incorporation statutes, which are NOT limited to individuals located outside the United States, allow the formation of "shell companies". Shell companies are companies that exist solely on paper, are not businesses, composed of actual brick and mortar. The problem with these shell companies is that services and processes afforded to brick and mortar businesses are given to shell companies as well. Bank accounts, lines of credit, and property can be established in the name of the business, the shell company, and this allows the money laundering fraud aspect. You have a business that exists solely on paper and isn't linked to the person or group who actually controls the business and you have a bank account established in the business's name, a bank account for the business which isn't tied to anyone which, effectively, allow governments and individuals to subvert any kind of economic sanctions! These policies are a criminal/money launderer's DREAM! It's like economic contraception preventing unwanted prosecutions, and these shell companies are EXTREMELY EASY to start, only costs a couple hundred dollars and about ten or fifteen minutes. Russia and its oligarchs have been exploiting these policies FOR YEARS, YOU CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE SCOPE AND MAGNITUDE OF WHICH THESE POLICIES HAVE BEEN EXPLOITED BY CRIMINALS IN GENERAL, LET ALONE RUSSIA. The prospect of having economic sanctions imparted on them humors Russia very much, in fact, when U.S. economic sanctions imparted to Russia's oligarchs, they considered it a badge of honor. They LAUGHED at the U.S. government and sung carols, tickled over the MORBID IRONY of the U.S. government imposing sanctions and it being U.S. economic policies that allowed them to subvert those sanctions. It's because of this, folks, that most sanctions are useless, they're only a façade used by governments to show the people they govern that they are in control, have an active hand in the situation when really they don't. These business incorporation policies have FOR YEARS been a thorn in the side of the U.S. government and its law enforcement agencies, a source of EXCRUCIATING EMBARRASSMENT. Legislation has been proposed to fix this problem, but due to America's embarrassingly INEPT, STAGNANT, and CORRUPT congress, legislation to fix the problem has died on the vine. Barack Obama, himself, admitted to having utilized these policies to raise money to campaign, subverting policies governing campaign contributions – and it was he, when he was an Illinois senator, who proposed the original legislation correcting the problem to begin with.

        August 31, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  7. Sam Enslow

    The problem of IS will not be solved on the field of battle. If the fight is to be won, it will be won in the mosques. The Arabs are doing what they always do, blame someone else for their problems rather than working to solve them. It is a mistaken also to concentrate on IS. The total movement grows, under different names, in all of the Middle East and Africa. The clerics feed it by direct and indirect means, a failure to condemned these groups. Many, Wahabbi and Salafi agree with them. Obama is correct to do little until Arabs join the fight. Put US troops on the ground when there are Saudi troops standing next to them, dying next to them. The same Arabs that now cry that the US will not do anything would be the first ones to complain about any US action and US interference in Arab affairs. It is time for the Arabs to 'man up'.Obama got rid of Syria's chemical weapons without bombing. Had he actually bombed, he would have helped IS.The US cannot help the Arabs until they are ready to help themselves. Now theybwoukdnrather look to blame the US or Israel form problems that existed long before there was an Israel or before the US had any role in the Middle East. a good read on the subject, T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

    September 1, 2014 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • George

      Why should the U.S look into the matters of the Iraq and Syria....Why did you kill Saddam Hussein who was a genuine ruler of Iraq......Why did U.S arm the mercenaries of Libya and get Col. Gaddafi Killed......Now see the result ...Anarchy....Violence... Illegalities......No human rights...plundering and devastation...and there in no solution...Now you pretend that Arabs have to look into their own affairs.....Who told you to aid and support Taliban in Afganistan and topple Najibulla with the help of U.S funded Pakistan Army......It is because of U.S interference that lead to Anarchy and underdevelopment in these countries.....And the agony is that all these countries are Muslim countries Now Americans are washing off their hands stating that Arabs and the respective countries have to take care of themselves......and now even if they manage to make a government and when their is slight prosperity you Americans will come their like scavangers and throw the countries to the face of disparity.......It is America and American alone who has to be blamed for all these turmoil.......Now you are going to Ukraine and acting as saviours!!!!....What right you have to peep their.......If you cannot settle the problem of Iraq then how can you settle the ethnic problem of Ukraine.....

      September 2, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply
  8. George Jacob

    The U.K.'s Ambassador to the United Nations told the program that "ISIS is a monster that the Frankenstein of Assad has largely created"....hahaha...Taking us stupid for granted to new hegits

    September 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Reply
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