Syrian Rebel Commander Idris Slams Putin as a ‘Terrorist’

In an interview with TIME, Syria's top rebel commander lashes out at Moscow, pleads for U.S. help

  • Share
  • Read Later
Bulent Kilic / AFP/Getty Images

Syrian rebel leader General Salim Idris speaks during a press conference in Istanbul on on Aug. 24, 2013

The top rebel commander in Syria, General Salim Idris, in an exclusive interview with TIME on Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “terrorist” and accused Syrian dictator Bashar Assad of an effort to “win some time … to deceive our American friends and the international community.”

Speaking via Skype, the Free Syrian Army leader warned that widespread violence in Syria would make it impossible for U.N. weapons inspectors to certify that Assad had given up all of his weapons, the goal of a Russian-backed proposal now under consideration in Washington and at the U.N. Idris said his forces would grant U.N. inspectors access to rebel-controlled areas if necessary, though he said he hoped such inspections wouldn’t occur as he considered them a Russian-backed diversion from strikes against the Assad regime.

Although Idris is battling Assad’s forces on the ground, his fury was mainly directed toward Assad’s patrons in Moscow. The Russians “are trying now to find a solution for the regime,” he said, warning that “it is very important … not to be deceived [by] the Russians. They are liars. President Putin is a terrorist. He is a liar. He is lying. He is killing the Syrian people with Russian[-supplied] air jets and Russian tanks. They are killing our people since two and a half years. We can’t trust them, and we can’t trust in Bashar and believe in President Putin. The two are criminals and liars. Excuse me, please, but this is the reality.”

Idris said Syrian rebels still live under constant threat of not just chemical weapons, but also SCUD missile and other heavy artillery. He renewed his longtime pleas, rejected by Washington, for antiaircraft weapons and a no-fly zone over Syria. And he reiterated his insistence that his forces do not possess chemical weapons.

Idris also raised a new issue, describing his concern about a Euphrates River dam that Assad’s forces apparently damaged in air strikes on Sept. 7.

The dam holds back Lake Assad and some 14 million cu. ft. of water. Idris warned that if the dam collapsed it would flood populated areas below. “The regime is trying to destroy the dam, and if they do that, there’s millions of cubic meters of water that would be very dangerous,” he said. “We are very worried that hundreds or thousands could be killed.” The dam is also a major supplier of electricity to the Damascus area.

An activist in nearby Raqqa, Ayham al-Hussein, confirmed the regime’s strikes to TIME. “The air strike was a little bit away from the dam, but people were afraid because they have noticed some cracks in the dam,” al-Hussein said. “The cracks are not serious, but we are afraid that the regime may repeat the strikes, then we will be seriously threatened in Raqqa … We think it was a message from the regime that they are ready to kill all of Raqqa if needed, especially after the advancements of the rebels.”

Idris said he asked the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, on Monday to warn the Obama Administration about the threat, adding that “this is more dangerous than the chemical-weapons attack.”

–With reporting by Aryn Baker and Rami Aysha in Beirut

14 comments
ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

He probably wont last long. I feel for the man. But it is the way it is.

Danio
Danio

Yeah! like I'm gonna start listening to what the Rebels/terrorist have to say.

Tarpley.net
Tarpley.net

Why would the Assad admin use explosive barrels to blow up their own infrastructure? Not that these homemade barrel bombs work, as we saw in this video. These guys more than likely threw that barrel down their themselves. This dam is a symbol of Russian development that we saw in the middle east in the era of Nasser. They built it, and now US funded terrorists want to ruin it. How sad.

brianct
brianct

what the islamisgt terrorists did i  Maaloula

 Christian inhabitant reported that he “saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them: ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’” A Christian woman speaking to AP confirmed reports that the Islamists threatened Christian inhabitants with death if they did not convert.

Another resident told reporters that one of Maaloula’s churches, called Demyanos, had been torched and that armed rebels stormed and pillaged two other churches. Most of the rebels are not Syrians, he said, explaining that he identified various foreign dialects, mainly Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan and Chechen.

One of the few who remained in Maaloula despite the terror, George, aged 73, told AFP by phone: “People are afraid, they are terrified. There is no one left in Maaloula, everyone has fled.

http://southweb.org/blog/western-backed-rebels-bring-death-and-destruction-to-historic-syrian-town-of-maaloula/


brianct
brianct

Zafaran immigrated to the United States in 2005 and has been pastor at St. George since 2010. He said both of his parents as well as four brothers and three sisters live in Syria between Damascus and its suburbs. He is in contact with them almost daily and said two days ago, a rocket hit a house across the street from his parents' house.

“I do not call it a civil war; I call it an al-Qaida war against the Syrian people,” Zafaran said. “I wish I understood what they are doing. It's a war against Christians. They are destroying churches and killing priests.”



Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/4654304-74/syrian-syria-cross#ixzz2ea1h35Nk 

brianct
brianct

US being duped by 'rebels' actually islamic terrorists

“First of all, it's not a civil war,” said Cross, a retired surgeon who worked at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. “In fact, it's the surrounding states that are financing this war.”

He claims the “Syrian rebels” come from 28 countries such as Chechnya, Iraq, Turkey and even the United States. “These are outside forces, and here is the significant thing, they are being financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,” Cross said. “They are being paid about $100 a day.”

http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/4654304-74/syrian-syria-cross

Rome270AD
Rome270AD

Putin is the biggest Murdering, Terrorist Thug on the planet.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@brianct Nobody of the politicians even brought up the Christian`s plight in Syria. Obama the Fraud who professed his Christianity nary a peep. You could only take solace in what was written in the Bible. Of the coming persecution of Christians as a precursor to the Second Coming.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@Rome270AD Maybe. But a victory of Putin and Assad meant a safer situation for the Christians. On the other hand a victory by the rebels led by al Qaeda would result in the expulsion of Christians in the Middle East. Look what is happening to the Coptics. There is no good choice. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@forgottenlord It was all about a spineless and cowardly President who ran his mouth off, painted himself in a corner and now expects the country to save his butt. Which it must do since its credibility is also at stake because of a wayward mouth.