Idriss: Weapons needed to oust Assad
Brigadier General Selim Idriss, the leader of the Free Syrian Army, appealed to European deputies in Brussels on Wednesday to lift a Western arms embargo in the Syrian conflict. Idriss said that while it is able to purchase light weapons on the domestic black market, the Free Syrian Army faces a national army with tanks and fighter jets at its disposal. The FSA is requesting anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions to end the war quickly, EUObserver.com reports.
"We are the first to suffer from that embargo," Idriss said, according to EUObserver.com. "If we have the weapons we need, I can tell you that the regime will collapse in a month."
Idriss said that without more weapons, the fighting will continue and lead to a country in complete ruin. Approximately 70,000 people have died during the conflict.
The brigadier general gave another reason for the need to quickly end the war. Al-nusra, a rebel fighting faction designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in December, is gaining credibility in Syria by winning battles against al-Assad's regime. The group receives backing and weapons from unspecified foreign entities, EUObserver.com reports.
"We do not want those people to have influence or to bring those people to bear on our young people," Idriss said, according to EUObserver.com. "Please help us reduce their prestige in the eyes of the people."