April 8, 2013

Omar al-Asfar, 54, is an engineer and former brigadier general in the Syrian army who defected and is now based in Daraa province with the Free Syrian Army.

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Q: How does the FSA deal with the government’s military reinforcements? What tactics does the FSA use in battle in the areas they hold?

A: The fighters don’t have grand plans and theories to fight the Assad army in the areas they hold. The FSA is a group of some army defectors and civilians who rebelled against the regime. Some of those served in the army and others didn’t. The FSA doesn’t have an organized body. They deal with the government according to the situation, the weapons they have and the knowledge of their fighters.

Q: What do you think Syrians want?

A: They began a revolt against injustice, so they want freedom and democracy.

Q: How do you get arms in the south?

A: Some defectors brought their weapons. The military councils provide some weapons too. Some fighters bought their own weapons to fight this tyranny.

Q: What kind of arms do you need from the friends of Syria?

A: We need advanced infantry weapons. We need anti-shield and anti-aircraft weapons to prevent the Assad army from executing its missions.

Q: How can your friends trust you that you won’t allow such arms to get to Islamist terrorist groups?

A: The Islamist groups get advanced weapons more than any of the moderate fighters.

Q: What kind of weapons do you use against the government armored vehicles?

A: We use bombs and anti-shield weapons.