5:55 PM, Nov 14, 2011 • By MICHAEL WEISS
The rebel fighting taking place in Homs has been conducted mainly by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) under the leadership of Col. Riad al-Asa’ad, who along with a handful of other former senior Syrian military commanders, is now headquartered in Antakya, Turkey. The FSA doesn’t recognize the SNC because the SNC is formally against military defections as well as any kind of armed defensive campaign. Al-Asa’ad told the New York Times in late October: “We are an army, we are in the opposition, and we are prepared for military operations. If the international community provides weapons, we can topple the regime in a very, very short time.” Sure, that may be bluster, but then, there is a reason why the regime hasn’t been able to retake Homs so easily as it did Hama and Deraa and Jisr al-Shughour.
The SNC must decide at what point does peaceful resistance becomes a suicide pact.
Michael Weiss is communications director of the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based foreign policy think tank.