The Daily Beast reports: Critics of President Obama’s latest pledge to arm the moderate Syrian rebels are trumpeting a report of a supposed deal between the opposition forces and ISIS, but Syrian opposition leaders are fighting back with what they say is overwhelming evidence that no truce exists.
The September 12 Agence France-Presse report stating that that moderate and Islamic rebel brigades in the southern Damascus suburbs had signed a “non-aggression” pact to focus efforts on fighting the Assad regime are not only false but are easily disproved by evidence that ISIS and the moderate rebels are still fighting each other in that region, according to rebel commanders on the ground and activists supporting the Syrian opposition.
“The only report we have received on anything resembling a ceasefire was that ISIS and Sons of Golan, an FSA brigade outside Damascus, halted fighting for 24 hours to collect bodies before hostilities resumed. However, this report also confirms that there is substantial fighting between the two groups that is leading to fatalities,” said Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, director of government relations for the Syrian American Council, a Washington NGO that works with the Syrian opposition and the FSA. “It is fantastical to think that rebels outside Damascus would expend lives and resources to rout ISIS from the Damascus suburbs; besiege the group for over a month; wait until two days after Obama announces he will aid the rebels to fights ISIS; and then sign a deal with ISIS (the first ever) while the group was besieged in its last holdout.” [Continue reading…]