Want to defeat ISIS? Help the Syrian opposition

The Free Syrian Army and tribal leaders have proven to be the most effective force in fighting against ISIS and al Qaeda affiliates. On May 16, Free Syrian Army units in Aleppo province announced the launch of an anti-al Qaeda offensive titled Operation Earthquake of the North. On May 19, five powerful rebel coalitions signed a “Revolutionary Covenant” denouncing “fundamentalism and extremism.” On June 12, the Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front Command released a statement reiterating the rebels’ commitment to democratic principles.

We have put forth a blueprint for stabilizing and freeing Syria from the threats that endanger both the Syrian people, regional allies and the West. We have proposed a scalable Syrian Rapid Deployment Force, which would form the nucleus of a larger stabilization force of more than 10,000 vetted and trained fighters—critical to defeating ISIS and Assad’s killing machine. We are also in the process of establishing offices and services in the liberated areas of Syria to support a political framework that will oversee and coordinate with a military chain of command.

We welcome President Obama’s recent initiative to support us as the genuine and vetted Syrian opposition with a proposed package of $500 million for military training and equipment. This military support will be helpful in the battle against ISIS, and it will save lives and prevent further spread of the conflict regionally.