The Los Angeles Times reports: Syrian rebel forces say they are planning a nationwide offensive in conjunction with anticipated U.S. strikes against the forces of President Bashar Assad, seeking to use U.S. military might to force a decisive shift in the country’s long civil war.
Rebel commanders disagree on the level of coordination they expect with the U.S. and its allies, and made it clear they hope the United States will do more than launch the limited strikes President Obama has proposed to deter Assad from using chemical weapons. The rebels have been disappointed by America’s reluctance to get involved more deeply in the conflict.
The issue is now before Congress. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed an amended resolution Wednesday approving military action to change the battlefield momentum in Syria away from the government. But many members of Congress, particularly in the House, have expressed deep skepticism about military involvement.
If the U.S. strikes, rebels said Thursday, they will be ready to take advantage — particularly around Damascus, the capital, where they say insurgents are infiltrating in preparation to attack.
“We are ready once the first rocket is launched,” said Col. Qassim Saad Eddine, spokesman for the Supreme Military Council, which oversees the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army. “We will attack the military sites, not just in one province, but all over Syria.” [Continue reading…]