Report: Top “moderate” U.S.-backed Syrian rebel general chased out of the country by jihadis

posted at 8:31 pm on December 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

So that explains that mysterious BuzzFeed report yesterday about the U.S. abruptly halting non-lethal aid to northern Syria. BF noted that jihadi rebels had overrun several Free Syrian Army installations near the Turkish border, including an HQ and some warehouses, but it wasn’t instantly clear why losing those facilitate would require suspending aid to the entire northern part of the country.

Now it’s clear. They weren’t just any buildings, they were the headquarters of the FSA’s top officer — and America’s man in Syria — Gen. Idris. The FSA has now deteriorated to the point where they can’t protect their commander on their own turf. Thus, presumably, ends the White House’s dream of building a “moderate” Sunni counterweight to the Nusra Front in Syria.

Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander supported by the West, was run out of his headquarters in northern Syria over the weekend and fled to Turkey and then Doha after Islamist fighters took over facilities run by Western-backed opposition, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The Obama administration is still trying to determine the circumstances under which Islamist fighters in a group called the Islamic Front took over warehouses and offices belonged to the Supreme Military Council, or SMC, the moderate rebel umbrella group that coordinates U.S. aid distribution, officials said.

“He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters,” a senior U.S. official said.

The U.S. is urging Gen. Idris, who left Syria for Turkey then Doha over the weekend, to return to Syria, the officials said.

The U.S. has supplied him with only small arms so far, or so we’re told. I guess we’ll wait to see what goodies from the warehouse the jihadi rebels start parading around with on the inevitable cell-phone YouTube vids to come. If you’re unfamiliar with Gen. Idris, he’s the guy who’s name-checked in every soundbite from McCain as the man who could make Syria safe for democracy if only we’d give him the resources he needs to win. And if you’re expecting Maverick to back off from that now, think again: The beauty of his brand of super-interventionism is that setbacks can always be blamed on America’s failure to intervene more aggressively. The lesson here isn’t that Idris is an unreliable or incompetent commander, overrun in his own HQ and then so reluctant to return that he needs the White House to beg him to come back. The lesson is that we should have armed him to the teeth ages ago, before jihadis began to dominate the rebel side. Whichever way you come out on that, though, the window for doing so now has clearly closed. Which means our choices in Syria at the moment are backing Al Qaeda or Iran’s boy Assad.

Semi-serious question: Are we now officially neutral? Or are we actually, if tacitly, pro-Assad? He’s been kinda sorta complying with demands that he give up his chemical weapons, for whatever that’s worth, and we’ve committed to six months of dialogue with his patrons. If, miraculously, Iran agrees to some comprehensive nuclear deal, it’s a cinch that our efforts to oust their man in Damascus are over. That’s why, I assume, the U.S. is nervous about Idris bugging out: Even if he can’t win, simply having him in the field is a bit of leverage that could be conceded to Iran as part of a nuke bargain. If we’re willing to look the other way at Iranian ballistic missile tests, surely we’d be willing to pull the plug on Idris and the FSA. Now that he’s been run out of the country, Obama won’t have the chance.


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He was probably chased out by the jihadist McCain had his picture taken with.

Mark1971 on December 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM

If we’re willing to look the other way at Iranian ballistic missile tests, surely we’d be willing to pull the plug on Idris and the FSA. Now that he’s been run out of the country, Obama won’t have the chance.

He did pull the plug. He’s been supporting Iran and Assad all along.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Maybe they wanted to, uh, “prepare” him to be a bomb carrier.

SouthernGent on December 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM

If you’re unfamiliar with Gen. Idris, he’s the guy who’s name-checked in every soundbite from McCain as the man who could make Syria safe for democracy if only we’d give him the resources he needs to win. And if you’re expecting Maverick to back off from that now, think again: The beauty of his brand of super-interventionism is that setbacks can always be blamed on America’s failure to intervene more aggressively.

I’m hoping someone stuffed him in a closet and threw away the key.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM

That’s funny. Same thing is happening to conservatives in the GOP.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Every faction in the middle east just chuckles when the US is mentioned.Mission accomplished.

docflash on December 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Does McCain want to legalize them too?

Oil Can on December 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

The U.S. has supplied him with only small arms so far, or so we’re told.

Yeah, you’re right. That whole Benghazi thing is soooo blown out of proportion…
/s

bofh on December 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Does McCain want to legalize them too?

Oil Can on December 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

They’re probably actually in the shadows.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Maybe they wanted to, uh, “prepare” him to be a bomb carrier.

SouthernGent on December 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Prepare him how ? Will he be taking lessons from Hussein’s fisting czar ?

burrata on December 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Was this part of the deal with Iran? Mysterious forces get Idris out?

OldEnglish on December 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/12/10/hot-topic-in-jihadi-circles-is-sodomy-okay-if-its-designed-to-make-space-for-a-bomb/

Prepare him how ? Will he be taking lessons from Hussein’s fisting czar ?

burrata on December 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

SouthernGent on December 11, 2013 at 8:54 PM

That’s why, I assume, the U.S. is nervous about Idris bugging out: Even if he can’t win, simply having him in the field is a bit of leverage that could be conceded to Iran as part of a nuke bargain.
These DC morons couldn’t even get the mullahs to release a Christian in iran’s jail in return for American money.

burrata on December 11, 2013 at 8:57 PM

That’s why, I assume, the U.S. is nervous about Idris bugging out: Even if he can’t win, simply having him in the field is a bit of leverage that could be conceded to Iran as part of a nuke bargain.

These DC morons couldn’t even get the mullahs to release a Christian in iran’s jail in return for American money.

oops !

burrata on December 11, 2013 at 8:58 PM

I’m hoping for an Assad victory, in the last round of a shootout, after 54 periods of overtime draws.

mankai on December 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Clearly what we need is more Great Islamic Society Nation Building. Send in McCain/Graham/Rubio !!!

VorDaj on December 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

I suspect McCain and the Democrats whole plan was to arm their beloved traditional al qaeda foot soldiers while appearing to arm some other fictional force. The Democrats have used al qaeda as their foot soldiers for every Democrat instigated military engagement since Carter, but they need to pay attention to the optics of it now, after 9/11.

Buddahpundit on December 11, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Heh. Reading quickly, I initially read the first sentence of the last paragraph as “Are we now officially neutered?”

Which works just as well… unfortunately.

Dukeboy01 on December 11, 2013 at 9:21 PM

By the way, has anybody seen Senator McLame? Or his girlfriend from South Carolina?

platypus on December 11, 2013 at 9:21 PM

An Assad victory means an Iran victory… Assad only exists right now because Iran is sending tens of thousands of fighters from Hizballah terrorists in Lebanon and its Iraqi militias to make sure that he will survive… In many fronts they are making up over 80% of the fighting force against the rebels… Without them he would have lost a year ago… If Iran controls Syria then it will have both Syria and Lebanon under their control surrounding Israel in addition to their strong support to Hamas terrorists in Gaza… Israel considers Iran by far as the biggest threat against her…

mnjg on December 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM

I’m hoping for an Assad victory, in the last round of a shootout, after 54 periods of overtime draws.

mankai on December 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

The way it is going now, Iran and Russia believe that Assad or to be more accurate Iran and its terrorists like Hizballah will win the war in Syria by mid of 2014… The end results will be an absolute and total control of Syria by Iran with Russia keeping its naval base there… Assad used to be the Iranians ally now he is just their slave that is if they let him stay and not replace him with someone else even more loyal to them… And once this happens Israel will be surrounded by Iranians troops and Hizballah terrorists from Lebanon and Syria… I am certain that the Israelis are against this outcome…

mnjg on December 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Report: Top “moderate” U.S.-backed Syrian rebel general chased out of the country by jihadis

posted at 8:31 pm on December 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

…since it is AP’s post…what’s a “moderate”?…Chris Christie…with a diaper on his head?

KOOLAID2 on December 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

“I know who the good guys are,” John McCain. This senile old fool can’t remember his own name without cue cards.

bw222 on December 11, 2013 at 9:59 PM

The way it is going now, Iran and Russia and Obama believe that Assad or to be more accurate Iran and its terrorists like Hizballah will win the war in Syria by mid of 2014… The end results will be an absolute and total control of Syria by Iran with Russia keeping its naval base there…

Agree, but with the above addition. Obama has allied the USA with Iran.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM

The Obama administration is still trying to determine the circumstances under which Islamist fighters in a group called the Islamic Front took over warehouses and offices belonged to the Supreme Military Council,

Quite a mysterious set of circumstances I’m sure. Something as simple as “bad men came and chased the “moderate” pussies away” is too straightforward, simple and true.

It looks like you are on both sides now. Hopefully your Rangers won’t run into your Marines somewhere in Yemen. Could be awkward when they both call for air support.

BL@KBIRD on December 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM

So, Kerry, how many pounds of sarin have we removed from Syria?
(Assad sarin, I mean, not rebel sarin, just to be clear)

virgo on December 11, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Yea, lets give them MORE WEAPONS (crew served and such) … and TRAINING.

Yea, that’s the ticket.

Missilengr on December 12, 2013 at 12:26 AM

“Moderate” Muslim: one who is out of ammunition, OR: one who is easy for Westerners to bribe and use, because he doesn’t strongly believe anything and isn’t willing to fight much.

Believing Muslims beat up the “moderates” when they choose. There is no point in giving the “moderates” guns, because if the radicals want them they will confiscate them, before or after slapping the “moderate” leadership around. Numbers of tepid supporters are no substitute for commitment.

This means the entire neocon plan to control and pacify the Middle East is without foundation and a waste of lives and money. “Nation-building” in Muslim countries is a hopeless and useless project.

David Blue on December 12, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Anyone know who’s supplying the FSA with the (wire-guided?) anti-tank missile systems? Pretty sure they aren’t Russian Saggers, and don’t look like the U.S. TOW systems I’ve seen, but it’s been many moons since I was in.

I’ve seen several clips where they’re taking out Assad’s armor.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 12, 2013 at 4:31 AM

…chased out probably using the weapons they received from Obama / the CIA, shipped to them from Benghazi.

easyt65 on December 12, 2013 at 10:25 AM