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Syrian FSA fades in shadow of Saudi-backed opposition front

This week, the United States and the United Kingdom suspended nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition, fearing equipment could fall into the wrong hands.
A member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carries his weapon as he looks through a hole in a wall in Sheikh Saeed neighbourhood December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Molhem Barakat (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY) - RTX163J6

ALEPPO, Syria — The bombshell that Gen. Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)'s Supreme Military Command dropped last week, that he would be willing to join forces with the regime against al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria, came without too much scrutiny, especially when he subsequently tried to backtrack and sugarcoat his statement. But for the observant, the subtle message was all too clear: The “moderate” Western-backed FSA rebels in Syria are on their last legs, pushed to the limit and desperate. They are making their last stand, here and now.

That this statement came out of desperation, from an organization that swore it would never deal with President Bashar al-Assad and that its only stated goal was to topple him from power, speaks volumes about the machinations, intricacies and subterfuges of the Syrian conflict, now nearing its third year and drawing ever deeper into a chaotic and messy quagmire.

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