MOSCOW, October 15. Russia is ready to hold in Moscow in contact with the “Syrian free army”, said the special envoy of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
“Please, let them come,’ he said. We are looking for, will hold contacts in Moscow and elsewhere. Let will tell where they are.”
Moscow has repeatedly asked Western partners to prevent incidents, the locations of the PAS, and also called upon to assist in making contact with the structure. However, the coalition of the US response is not given.
Statement By Maria Zakharova
On 7 October, the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that Russia is ready to establish contacts with the leadership of the “Syrian free army”, including in order to help unite its efforts against terrorists with the efforts of the government troops.
“In accordance with the position expressed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the Russian side is ready through the Ministry of defence to join forces with the army of Syria and the “Free Syrian army” in the fight against “Islamic state” and other terrorist groups, including in the context of coordination with the actions of the Russian aviation,” she said.
“On behalf of the President of the Russian MFA informs our partners in countries with ties to the “Syrian free army”, about the readiness of the Russian side to establish contacts with the leadership of this structure in order to discuss the possibility of its connection to the establishment of conditions for starting a process of political settlement of the Syrian crisis through talks between the Syrian government and the Patriotic opposition, the diplomat stressed. – The foreign Ministry will continue to liaise with the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition to help it consolidate on this platform”, – said Zakharov.
What is the “Syrian free army”
“Free Syrian army” (FSA) was established in Turkey in July 2011 from the soldiers and officers who deserted from the ranks of the Syrian national armed forces and belonging to the Sunni denomination. It was headed by Colonel Riad al-Asaad.
Some estimates put the number of fighters the SAA has reached 150 thousand persons, of which up to 50 thousand included in various extremist Islamic groups. 22 September 2012, the FSA announced its decision to relocate from Turkey to areas of Syria under rebel control.
25 September 2013, some Islamist groups associated with “al-Qaeda”, came from the free Syrian army and called upon all opponents of President Bashar al-Assad to unite on the basis of Islam and Sharia guide. SSA began to wage war not only against government forces but also against Islamic militants.
Who’s who in the Syrian opposition. Dossier