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FSA Commander Urges Tahrir Al-Sham to Handover Sites to Turkey

Interviews | 2017-10-09 13:30:37
FSA Commander Urges Tahrir Al-Sham to Handover Sites to Turkey
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Head of the Political Office of the Mu'tasim Brigade, key rebel group in the Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield, hoped the former al-Qaeda branch will handover the observation points to the Turkish army to implement  the ceasefire deal to avoid any military escalation.

 Mustafa Segri pointed out that the US is backing the Turkish operation in northern Syria, but it has not provided military support so far.

Early Monday, Turkish troops began reconnaissance activities in Idlib as part of an international agreement to establish de-escalation zones, Anadolu Agency said.

The operation in the northwestern region, which borders Turkey’s Hatay province, was launched on Sunday under a deal agreed with Russia and Iran during the Astana peace talks.

The Interview:

Z: What is your role as (FSA) faction in Euphrates Shield in the forthcoming operations in Idlib?

S: What we are doing today in Idlib is a rescue operation for the city and to protect people and to stop foreign projects and the attack and destruction on the city under pretext of fighting terrorism.

This is done through the joint operations room between us and the Turkish ally. (FSA) is the lead in the field and military operations like in the Euphrates Sheiled operation and the same scenario will be repeated in Idlib if necessary. The mission of Turkish brothers is to provide logistical support and air coverage if we had to combat.

Z: Do you think the outcome of the forthcoming operations in Idlib and removal of Tahrir al-Sham will serve the interest of Russia and Iran?

S: Certainly putting an end to al-Nusra Front serves the interest of the Syrian people and its blessed revolution, especially after al-Nusra proved in conclusive evidence conspiring against the Mujahideen and the rebel factions in favor of the Iranian project and became one of the tools of the enemies of the Syrian people. 

We should not forget what al-Nusra did whether assaulting factions, stealing weapons of the Mujahideen, , cutting roads, seizing the headquarters, refusing to resort to Sharia, and tarnishing the reputation of the sons and leaders of the revolution. By ending al-Nusra control, we have cut the road to projects aspiring to expand and divide Syria with international support.

Z: It is possible the role of (FSA) will be neutralized in Idlib and you might be excluded from participating in shaping the future of this city. In such a scenario, what would be your position?

S: There is no one capable of neutralizing (FSA) and preventing it from imposing its control over Idlib and protecting its people, including Turkey. Turkey would not have intervened if (FSA) is not there. We do not deny the good and support Turkey has given to us. What al-Nusra media is spreading that there is cooperation between al-Nusra and Turkey to prevent (FSA) from entering is pure lies and illusions, and deceiving their naive fighters. We do not accept that the operations are depicted as mere Turkish will, but it is a Syrian will and Syrian interest in the first place.

Z: You are close to the United States? Did they contact you and are they ready to provide military support?

S: The American side contacted us and informed us of their support for the operation, and did not talk about any military support or air coverage.

Z: What about Russian coverage of operations in Idlib?

S: The media reported that there is an agreement on Russian air cover for military operations. We totally deny this, and we said that Russia is an occupying state that supports terrorism and we cannot cooperate with Russia at all.

Z: What if Tahrir al-Sham decided to combat in Idlib?

S: (FSA) will carry out a wide deployment and re-establish control and end al-Nusra control and hand over the Turkish ally observation points in order to stabilize the ceasefire, according to the outputs of Astana 6. We are working to achieve this without any military confrontations on the ground. If al-Nusra decided to attack and obstruct the deployment and prevent the Turkish ally from setting up observation points, it will be answered directly, but whoever stays at home is safe and whoever enters the mosque is safe. (By Abdullah Ghadawi)

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