Moderate Syria Rebels Claim Iraq Collapse Justifies More Aid to Them

Nine Top Rebels Resign Over Lack of Aid

With al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the largest rebel faction in Syria, sweeping through Iraq taking city after city, you’d think other rebel factions would be laying low. Instead, rival rebel factions are trying to play the situation as all about them in a bid for new US aid.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) top leader Muhammad Nour al-Khallouf insists it is impossible to separate what is going on in Iraq and Syria, and that only his group can save the region from extremism, so long as they get ample US weaponry. At the same time, nine FSA leaders resigned to protest the lack of arms.

The reality is that the FSA rarely clashes with AQI anymore, because what little adjacent territory they had is mostly lost, and they have tried lately to focus on the southern front, where AQI so far is not active.

If anything, the aid shipments might be tougher to justify now, as US aid has never been exclusive to the FSA, and has gone to myriad other factions, who often share with one another, and some of those weapons are bound to have found their way to the Iraq war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.