What the Free Army is After by Leaving Turkey

25 September 2012 | 13:31 Code : 1907230 From the Other Media General category
Fararu.com’s interview with Sabah Zanganeh
What the Free Army is After by Leaving Turkey


Riyad Asaad, commander of the Free Syrian Army, has stated that the commanding headquarters of these forces will soon be transferred from Turkey to inside Syria. How important is this event and what will its consequences be? What is the reason for the transfer of the commanding headquarters of the Free Army from Turkey to inside Syria?

The transfer of the commanding headquarters of the Free Syrian Army from Turkey to inside Syria is based on two issues:

The first issue is the various pressures exerted upon the government of Turkey for its hosting of armed and rebellious forces, whether Syrian or from other nationalities, which has led to domestic protests from opposing parties and even from Muslim Turkish forces against the government of Erdogan. 

The presence of the armed forces inside Turkey has created serious threats for the security of this country and led to people's protests. The reason is that these people have appeared in neighboring cities and worried their residents. 

On the other hand, operations of Kurdish forces (PKK) or others inside Turkey have put real pressure on the Turkish army, as such that the equation of intervention in Syria equals the intervention of Kurds in Turkey's security worries the army commanders which, in turn, leads to more pressure by the military on the government. 

Sabah Zanganeh further stated: But, on the other hand, it seems that the Free Syrian Army attempts to create conditions in which it can establish some of its commanders inside Syria so it can claim that, firstly, it has been able to liberate certain regions and, secondly, it has brought itself out of Turkey's domination and created an independence of thought and decision-making.

In response to the question as to whether we can say that this transfer is undertaken in order to better direct and harmonize the opposition against the Syrian army, Zanganeh said: This issue needs a reliable status and background. It means that without a reliable background there is no possibility of being present inside Syria; unless this army has been able to collaborate with the Turks and intelligence services and use it inside Syria. 

He added: Of course, in any city where the Free Army was present, they needed collaboration which was mainly achieved by using progressive communication tools which were given to them by Western countries. Therefore, transfer of forces and making the decision to activate one region or silence another and creating legitimacy for the Free Army was also possible from long distance.

Sabah Zanganeh, with regard to the consequences of the transfer of the commanding headquarters of the Free Syrian Army to inside Syria, and whether this incident could be a turning point in Syria's developments, pointed out: I do not believe that this is the case. We should wait and see if the operations of the Free Army grow after the transfer or if they are reduced. If the volume and diversity of its operations increase, then it can be said that this transfer has been an important event.

Regarding the opinion of Zalmay Khalilzad, who had said that the only way to topple Assad is a coup d’état, this Middle East affairs expert stated: Until now and after a year and seven months which have passed since the beginning of protests and armed and military operations, no significant signs can be seen to show the collapse of the Syrian army.

He further said: The trend of the departure of several commanders from the military and them joining the opposition did not continue either and the occurrence of such an incident seems impossible, unless it is accompanied by vast political, military, and security agreements. 

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