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Middle East

FSA demands more weapons from West

Free Syrian Army seeks arms from international community to drive out what they say are al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

Last Modified: 14 Jul 2013 04:58
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The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has demanded more weapons from the international community to fight al-Qaeda-linked groups, a day after one of its top commanders was killed by fighters from a rival group.

An FSA commander in the area who witnessed the killing told Al Jazeera on Saturday that they wanted to avoid all out war with al-Qaeda, but they sought justice for their killed commander.

"Their extremism has become unbearable. The foreign fighter have come with their own alien agenda. We demand the international community supply us with arms to get rid of this disease," the FSA commander said.

He said that all the foreigners should leave the country.

The FSA has demanded that an al-Qaeda-linked-group hand over the man it blames for killing of Kamal Hamami, known as Abu Basir, in Latakia province on Thursday.

"We believe this was a pre-planned attack on our leader because we wanted to strengthen our frontline position near the Turkish border against the regime. And we felt al-Qaeda didn’t do the necessary to protect out back from any regime attacks," the FSA commander said.

The incident has increased tensions between fighters who are supposed to be working together to take on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

'Fundamental problem'

Sharif Nashashibi, a journalist and Middle East analyst, told Al Jazeera that there would be no win for the people of Syria without sufficient support from the West.

"This is a fundamental problem now in Syria. The Islamists groups fighting in Syria are the most effective fighting forces because they have had a steady supply of weaponry," he said.

FSA is made up of thousands of mostly Syrian nationals and it is backed by the US, the Gulf and European nations.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which members of the FSA say was responsible for the murder of its commander, is linked to al-Qaeda and its members are mostly foreign fighters.

Jabhat al-Nusra, another al-Qaeda-affiliated group, is blacklisted by the US and had an arms embargo imposed on it. Some of its members are foreign fighters.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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