Following are excerpts from interviews with FSA Commander in Aleppo Colonel Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi, which aired on the Al-Arabiya network and on Orient TV (via the Internet) on September 9-10, 2013:
Al-Arabiya Network, September 10, 2013
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: The truth is that we were optimistic at first that the international community would launch a strike against this criminal regime. The FSA could benefit from an attack on the military airports, on the Scud missile launching pads, and on some military units, which attack villages and cities with artillery and missiles. Unfortunately, we were disappointed in the past two days. It now seems that either there will be no strike or else that it will be a light one, in order for Mr. Obama to save face, and nothing more.
Therefore, rather than placing our trust in such a strike, we reply upon Allah and upon the efforts of the FSA heroes.
The rebels and the field commanders in Aleppo have convened. We have formed an emergency operations room, in order to maintain security in the city of Aleppo, in the event of an immediate collapse [of the regime], and in order to protect the state's vital installations. We want to bring down the regime, not the state. This state and these installations belong to the people, to us. In addition, we have military plans to attack and take over all the military compounds, in the event of an [American] strike. With the grace of Allah and efforts of the FSA heroes, we are capable of that.
Orient TV, September 9, 2013
The statements made today by John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon, and the deal struck by the Russians, the Syrian regime, and the Americans, were a disappointment. It seems that there is a deal, and that all they really want is the chemical weapons, not to punish those who used the chemical weapons. They want to take away the chemical weapons, but to allow Assad to use non-chemical weapons, such as airplanes, artillery, Scud missiles, and so on. They don't care if the people are killed, so long as it is not with chemical weapons.
Interviewer: How do you view these statements from abroad?
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: We consider them to be a conspiracy against the Syrian people.
Interviewer: Even though some say that the American statements may be serious, and lead to a strike?
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: They are serious, but they do not serve the interests of the Syrian people. These statements serve the American interests. Their sole purpose is to punish the regime, and to serve as a lesson to others not to use such chemical weapons. They do not mean to topple the regime. As for the deal regarding the handing over of the chemical weapons, I ask the [Syrian] regime: If you are willing to surrender these weapons to Russia or the US, why did you waste billions of dollars, denying the people all this money, in order to produce these weapons, ultimately bowing down and capitulating to the American and Russian will, and handing over these weapons?
We asked all the countries that support us to provide us with high-quality weapons and ammunition, so that we could deal with everything ourselves, saving them the trouble of trying to convince the Congress – the Senate and the House of Representatives – and the trouble of passing a vote, the international community, and all that. We told them that if they had supplied us with high quality anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, we could have guaranteed the fall of the regime ourselves.
[Assad] capitulates on everything. In the blink of an eye, he agreed to give up all the chemical weapons he possesses. When Omar Iban Al-Khattab got mad, he invaded Persia. When Bashar Al-Assad got mad, he surrendered Syria to Persia.
In some of his workshops, [Assad] manufactures home-made missiles just like the ones we in the FSA produce. He installs chemical warheads on these missiles, in order to launch them as if they were FSA chemical missiles.
Interviewer: What coordination do you have with the Syrian National Coalition?
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: None.
Interviewer: What does this coalition give you?
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: Nothing.
Interviewer: What are your demands from it?
Abdul Jabar Al-Akidi: Nothing whatsoever.