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August 22, 2013 11:30 am

Syrian Rebel Leader Appeals to Israel, US for Help Fighting Assad Regime Following Chemical Attack

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Free Syrian Army rebels cleaning their AK47s in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: VOA News/Wikimedia Commons.

A Syrian rebel leader on Wednesday said his group was desperate for outside intervention by Israel and the US to stop the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after 1,300 dead bodies were discovered without wounds, according to reports, signifying a chemical attack, which would be the largest such attack since the Syrian civil war began two and a half years ago, Israel’s Ma’ariv daily reported, in an interview with the chairman of the Association of Rebels in Syria, known only by his nom de guerre, Abu Adnan,

“I appeal to Israel and the U.S. – help us stop the crimes and massacres of the Assad operation,” Abu Adnan said in an emotional telephone interview with the newspaper from a refugee camp on the Turkish border.

“We trust [Israel] and the United States know exactly what creative ways can help us overcome Assad,” Abu Adnan said. “We believe they know the weak points of the regime and we look forward to qualitative shelling from Israel, just as it did to Assad’s arms caches at Bksion and Latakia. Any delay on the part of Israel and the United States will only strengthen the radical Islamic forces.”

Conflicting reports in July claimed that Israel targeted Russian-made anti-ship cruise missiles at a depot hidden in Latakia, though Israel has refused to comment on the allegations.

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“Iran is helping [Assad] now make these chemical attacks, and Hezbollah is helping him,” Abu Adnan said. “Look the Syrian people in the eye. We just seek freedom, like all people in the world. Turn to peace, and this historic opportunity to achieve peace.”

“The regime began the attack on populated areas at three in the morning.  It shelled about twenty missiles carrying chemical warheads […] Most children were killed in their sleep.” said Abu Adnan. “All this, just when UN inspectors, who came to see if Assad and his people are using chemical weapons, are in the country,” he added.

Ma’ariv cited rebel spokesman, Louis Miqdad,  as saying that the attack took place in ten different locations on the outskirts of Damascus. In contrast, the Assad regime has denied the charges outright, broadcasting on Syrian television: “There are no reports or photographs circulated in the media with any basis in truth.”

Abu Adnan said Syrians have no means of protection from chemical attacks and no awareness of ways to defend themselves against such attacks. “In addition, there’s the drugs and equipment needed to treat victims of an attack,” he added. “We need help at all levels – food, medical supplies and quarters for refugees. [The world] needs to understand that the amount of refugees in Syria is double the amount of refugees fleeing the country.”

Ma’ariv also cited Mendi Safadi, who once served as chief of staff for Israeli Druze politician Ayoob Kara, and now acts as an intermediary between the rebel forces and diplomatic officials in Israel, explaining that in Syria there are about 500 streams of internal opposition to the official Assad regime. The Association of Rebels in Syria got together only a few months ago in an attempt to bridge the gaps between them, and to unite them in an effort to end the civil war.

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