US Spy Chief: Syrian Rebels Remain Disorganized

Rebels Struggle to Cope With Foreign Influx

by Jason Ditz, March 12, 2013

US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee today, warned that while the Syrian rebel forces have gained some territory, they remain disorganized.

The biggest obstacle, according to Clapper, is trying to integrate the massive influx of foreign Islamist fighters into the rebel forces, with “literally hundreds” of different forces in the rebellion operating as independent or semi-independent.

Clapper added that he believes Assad’s “days are numbered. We just don’t know the number,” while declining to even speculate how much longer the war might continue.

He also noted that the al-Nusra Front, which he described as an “offshoot” of al-Qaeda in Iraq, has been gaining support in rebel-held areas by offering some municipal services in those areas.

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