Fresh From Syria, Rebel Commanders Unite in Frustration (NY Times)
Fresh From Syria, Rebel Commanders Unite in Frustration
By C. J. Chivers
Published: July 13, 2012
ANTAKYA, Turkey — Abu Moayed, a commander in an armed Syrian opposition brigade, stood and waved his arms emphatically at the fellow rebel commanders who filled the sweltering room.
His fighters, he said, needed money and weapons. But they were not getting the support promised from the donors and opposition leaders outside Syria.
“We are borrowing money to feed our wounded!” Abu Moayed shouted. “There is no distribution of the weapons,” he added. “All of our weapons, we are paying for them ourselves.”
The meeting of the rebel commanders, held after Friday Prayer in this Turkish city near Syria’s northern border, said much about the priorities of the Syrian opposition fighting groups at this stage of the conflict, now 17 months old. There was limited discussion of the mass killings in the village of Tremseh the day before — even though the commanders had heard about it and at least one had lost relatives. There was no talk about United Nations cease-fire monitors, the peace envoy Kofi Annan, or endless Security Council debates to halt the conflict. These commanders were focused on the basics of waging war against President Bashar al-Assad.