The moderate rebels say they don’t have the resources or the manpower to fight on both fronts. But they are being asked to come to the aid of the Kurds fighting for more than a month to fend off an Islamic State assault on Kobani, on Syria’s northern border with Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that his country would also allow 1,300 FSA fighters to move through Turkish territory to aid the city.
“No one sent us weapons like the Kurds in Kobani,” a senior brigade leader in the FSA, said by phone from the city of Hama. “This has really affected FSA fighters’ morale. They feel disappointed.”
President Assad’s recent gains have prompted the FSA to request more Western aid and weapons to fight both Islamic State and the regime, senior rebels said. The FSA says it will fight Islamic State if the U.S.-led coalition helps rid them of President Assad.
“Are we the U.S. hands on the ground?” said Khaled al-Khaled, spokesman for the Hazem Movement of about 7,000 moderate rebels under the FSA’s command. “If so, then support us with the arms and logistics we need to strike.”