New U.S-backed Rebel Group being formed to further U.S. interests in Syria*
By Andrew Illingworth
A new Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel group is being formed-up in eastern Syria as the regime in Washington, anxious about the success of pro-government forces in central Syria against ISIS, hopes to curtail the efforts of the Damascus government in restoring the country’s sovereignty.
The new militant group – called Fursan Al-Sharqiyah – will be directly trained and supplied by the United States and placed under the operational command of one Colonel Mahmoud Al-Sofi.
The group’s strength in manpower and equipment is unknown and no professional estimates yet exist.
The group is intended to be militarily active in the Syrian regions of Badia Al-Sham and east Qalamoun. Most its fighters will be natives from the Deir Ez-zor Governante just as with the personnel make-up of the Jaish Asoud Al-Sharqiyah and Jaish Maghawir Al-Thorah FSA groups (which are also vetted by the U.S.).
It is worth noting that virtually all FSA fighters from the province of Deir Ez-zor were, prior to mid-2014, allied with the Jabhat al-Nusra Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist militant group. It was only after significant portions of al-Nusra in eastern Syria merged into ISIS that FSA fighters were expelled from the region.
Since then, the U.S. Department of State appears to have forgotten that these exiled Islamist militants from Deir Ez-zor once cooperated with jihadist terror factions.
The stated purpose of Fursan Al-Sharqiyah will be to reach the city of Deir Ez-zor and fight both ISIS and pro-government forces.
The creation of this new FSA group stands as yet another testament to Washington’s warped perception of the conflict in Syria whereby it believes that in order to defeat ISIS, forces aligned with the secular government in Damascus must also be destroyed.