The Free Syrian Army, represented by Col. Riad al-Asa’ad and Col. Ahmad al-Hijazi, has become too popular for the players in today’s Syrian theater.
For Assad, the danger is obvious and the only solution is to replace the leadership of the FSA with his agents and to follow-up by assassinating the real FSA leadership to absorb its phenomenon so dangerous to his regime.Â Â
For the Arab League, the FSA has become an impediment because of its popularity in regard to its policy to force Assad to share power with the Muslim Brotherhood led by the SNC opposition. But at the same time, the FSA is the complete player to manage a non-diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis should this possibility become a reality; as such, the safety of its leadership is essential.
This is the reason why the SNC, looking more and more like the dough on the edge of an unbaked pie, is in a panic mode because its leadership cannot see an exit strategy. The organization cannot do more than threaten the FSA with cutting off their funding if the Colonels do not comply with its demands.Â
For the government of PM Erdogan, whose foreign policy is well synchronized with the Arab League but with a minor twist, the FSA shelf life has no expiration date as of yet; but matters will change if the ship’s engines in Syria are stalled and water keeps gushing in its hull. Turkey, I believe, for the foreseeable future will keep the FSA safe, especially that its leadership has nothing but kind words to say about the Turkish government.
For the people responsible for the Syrian policy in the Obama administration, ignoring the FSA has but one logical purpose anchored in their hope they can catch a glimpse of glory for their policies of appeasement and the outsourcing of the Middle East to PM Erdogan.
Rejecting their policy of appeasement is tantamount to accepting failure, something some US diplomats have the habit of repudiating. This conclusion, of course, does not apply to all US diplomats many of whom would adopt a different Syrian policy if the top officials at Foggy Bottom had the gumption to listen to them.
For Obama himself, the last he wants is a situation that could very well get out of hand in an election year; the Russian ships docking in Tartous was a clear signal to the White House to avoid adventurism Ã la Libya and Obama seems to heed that advice.
All in all, the leadership of the FSA is being harassed, intimidated, hammered, threatened, and assailed by everyone while carrying on its back the responsibility of protecting Syrian citizens from the terror of Assad.
If there is a hero in the Syrian Rebellion of 2011, the FSA leadership gets my vote for its steady and wise steering of their precious ship in murky and dangerous waters.Â