The Assad regime and the SNC are not standing still when it comes to the FSA.
The new defector Brig. Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh is a plant by the regime given his actions over the last two weeks in Turkey. Prior to appearing suddenly at the camp, Brig. Gen. al-Sheikh was held under house arrest in Damascus according to good sources I talked to.Â
Mustafa al-Sheikh has also managed to bring his own team with him that include:
Col. Ahmad al-Sheikh (His brother)
Lieut. Col. Abdul Razzak al-Rahmoun
Lieut. Col. Abdul Sattar Younsa
Maj. Maher al-Rahmoun
Maj. Mohammad Ali,
First Lieut. Tayseer Younsa.
Ever since his defection, al-Sheikh has been insisting on a deal with the SNC that excludes any military operations against the Assad regime. That deal was struckÂ yesterday January 13 and announced by the SNC as if the whole FSA leadership was behind it.
The beginning of some efforts in the Syrian street to discredit Brig. Gen. al-Sheikh are underway. It won’t be long before his name becomes synonymous with Birhan Ghalioun.
The SNC and Gen. al-Sheikh have begun a divide and conquer operation against the high command of the FSA to split Col. Riad al-Asa’ad from Col. Ahmad al-Hijazi.
The picture below is of the SNC leadershipÂ that includes Riad al-Asa’ad but excludes Ahmad al-Hijazi (Notice the majority of the men in the SNC on the right are bearded).
The al-Sheikh family comes from a large tribal system extending to Saudi Arabia. Some of the most trusted men of al-Saud come from this family and from the al-Rasheed family who helped Abdul Aziz conquer his enemies in Hijaz. This fits perfectly with Saudi plans to weaken the Syrian opposition demanding regime change for Assad.