Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview: I’m an FSA Battalion Leader | Syria News

by Karen Leigh, January 25, 2013

Abu Adnan and I meet on a cold dark night, a few days before the end of the year. He’s lean and grizzled in jeans and a dark overcoat. He holds a flashlight, standing at the precipice of an incline in the mountains along the Turkey-Syria border. He’s about to walk me down and looks wary, but determined, at the thought of yet another cross through this well-used smuggling route.

Abu Adnan is not his real name; many of the FSA leaders in the mountains around Latakia City use the nickname “Abu” – “Abu Adnan” means the father of Adnan. A gentle-eyed 55-year-old, with floppy black hair he looks the part of the father of the pride. His own children, and wife, are not here.

When we are safely through the mud, he becomes chatty. At our safe house, with its mismatched carpets and a small generator-power TV blaring Al Arabiya’s news of a regime massacre in Damascus, Adnan talks candidly about the states of his battle, his mind, and Latakia’s sectarian tension.

A member of Abu Adnan’s Hateen battalion shows off a destroyed Assad tank.

“There is no problem between [everyday] Alawites and Sunnis. But we have tension with the regime, and those who support the regime are Alawite,” Adnan tells me. That said “the regime is mixed between Alawites, Christians, and Sunnis. We don’t have a problem with the people, we have a problem with the regime. We [in the FSA] are liberal people, we like everyone.

“If the regime falls, we will start a new fight with the shabiha, and they have 100 leaders. There are three big groups of shabiha that have famous leaders, like Rami Makhlouf [Assad’s wealthy cousin], who has 2,000 shabiha followers. Our problem isn’t Assad—everyone wants him to leave now. Our problem is with these 100 names. A lot of them escaped fromDamascus to Latakia, and now they’re preparing to fight.”....................

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Interview: I’m an FSA Battalion Leader | Syria News

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