FSA says it formed commando force to target Assad’s close aides

New recruits to the rebel Free Syrian Army on parade this week in the town of Qusayr, near Homs, where much of the fighting is taking place. (File photo: AFP)

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has formed a special operations force tasked with arresting Syrian regime officials loyal to President Bashar al-Assad when the United States and its allies launch airstrikes on the Syrian regime.

A spokesman from the FSA’s supreme council told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the commando force is now deployed in Syria.

The FSA’s move aims to prevent regime officials from fleeing the country if the United States decides to launch a military operation against President Assad, Qassem Saad el-Din said. The United States accuses the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons against its own people and has vowed a military response.

The FSA spokesman said the decision to form the special force was an internal initiative from within the FSA and that Western powers did not make the proposition.

U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to convince Congress to support his plan to launch airstrikes on Syria amid calls for Assad to surrender his chemical weapons stockpiles to avoid Western military action.

FSA’s political and media advisor Louay Mekdad said on Sunday that they are dealing with the military strike as “a matter of fact” and that “it will happen.”

Mekdad added that the rebel army would be informed a hours prior any Western military action.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41