Syria: Rebels planning ‘Huge Operations’ Against Assad Regime
(CNN) — The Free Syrian Army plans to kick off “huge operations” this week against “vital interests” of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the force’s commander said Wednesday.
“We prepared ourselves for this stage,” Col. Riad al-Asaad told CNN in Turkey. “We can’t force him off with the peaceful demonstrations, so we are going to force him by arms to leave.”
The anti-government resistance movement, which emerged over the summer, comprises defectors from the massive and better-equipped Syrian army. The fledgling force is flexing its muscles amid international fears of a civil war that would destabilize both Syria and the greater Middle East.
But during the Arab League’s monitoring mission in Syria, it suspended all but defensive actions against the regime, hoping the league could make progress toward establishing peace.
The league’s fact-finding mission has been determining whether the Syrian government is abiding by a peace agreement to end the regime’s 10-month-long crackdown against protests. But al-Asaad called the Arab League mission a “mockery,” with “no teeth” and no pull. Security forces shot at people Tuesday in front of Arab League observers “who did not do anything about it.”
“We don’t believe in the Arab League mission in Syria. I think they are covering the regime and blocking any international intervention to help the Syrian people,” he said.
….”We are preparing for big operations and have no faith in Arab League monitors or their useless mission,” al-Asaad said.