Q&A with an FSA official in Syria’s northwest

Abu Omar, 27, is a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo province.

By Nuha Shabaan

February 22, 2013

Q: What’s happening in Aleppo right now?

A: The Jihadist Revolutionary Council has been participating in the siege of the Defense Factory in al-Safirah for the past three months. An army forced backed with tanks and air coverage arrived came from Hama. The army losses were significant, but the scorched-earth attack by the army forced the FSA snipers in al-Safirah to withdraw. What was unusual is that army forces adopted new tactics in their operations, as they had Iranian and Lebanese professional officers in the ranks.

Q: Have you noticed any foreign fighters in the Syrian army?

A: By spying on their radio communications, we detected dialects of non-Syrians. They speak a language that isn’t Arabic and it’s probably Persian.

We’ve seen people dressed in black and with beards and turbans in the company of the regime military.

Q: How do you evaluate the status in Aleppo, considering that you accompany the FSA in its operations?

A: The FSA has made a noticeable advancement on the front lines of Aleppo International Airport (AIA) and Al-Nayrab airbase. The FSA is now controlling positions close to AIA.