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FSA founder warns of airstrikes, says ISIS not U.S. target

FSA founder, Colonel Riad al-Asaad

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Founder of rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Saturday said that planned U.S. airstrikes will eliminate Syrians’ revolution as it will strengthen Bashar al-Assad and his key ally, Iran.

Syria's army defector Colonel Riad al-Asaad, who met with National Coalition’s Secretary-General Nasr al-Hariri on Friday, expressed concern to Zaman al-Wasl over the planned American airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying: "Syrian revolution will be eliminated under this pretext."

The war-wounded officer also has warned of the American invitation to Iran to join the International coalition against ISIS.  

Al-Asaad called on moderate rebels to mass efforts for more unity to revive the Syrian revolution after being kidnapped by radical Islamist groups and West-backed agendas. “We are looking for rebel commanders who share us the national concern,” he added.

The United States is planning to carry out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, while the U.S. Congress on Thursday gave final approval to Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to take on the militants, according to Reuters.

Other Western powers have been more reluctant to launch military strikes in Syria, which could be seen to bolster al-Assad. 

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to tackle Islamic State militants.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week said he had rejected an offer by Washington for talks on fighting Islamic State. Kerry said he refused to be drawn into a "back and forth" with Iran over the issue, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, more than 191,000 people killed and over 9 million forced to flee their homes.

 (Reporting by Mohamed Al Faris; Editing by Ridha Ali)

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