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FSA Commander Says ISIS Controls Most of Ayn al-Arab

Ukaidi denied any conflict or disagreement between the FSA and Kurdish forces
FSA Commander Says ISIS Controls Most of Ayn al-Arab

Free Syrian Army Commander, Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Ukaidi has admitted the difficulty of the batte with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) for control of Kobani, or Ayn al-Arab. 


Ukaidi said he hoped Kobani’s battle would be the beginning for national unity between the Arabs and  the Kurds and insisted on overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad regime as well as fighting ISIS.


In special interview with Zaman al-Wasl, Ukaidi described the situation in Ayn al-Arab (also known as Kobani in Kurdish) as “extremely difficult”. He revealed that ISIS controls 60% – 70% of the city.


“However, we cannot announce its fall, as fighters of the Free Syrian Army and Kurdish groups are still there, beside the difference in the balance of power after support from the Peshmerga and FSA arrived," he said.


With regard to arms, the leader of the "FSA” revealed that they had not had any support from anybody and they used their own arms. He added that they did not request any arms from the U.S.-led alliance, and the alliance did not offer them any arms either.


Ukaidi declared there was no coordination between the FSA and the Syrian National Coalition, as the Coalition had not contacted the FSA’s leadership at all, even to ensure their safety.


Ukaidi denied any conflict or disagreement between the FSA and Kurdish forces, especially the Democratic Union Party (PYD).


"Despite the fac that the PYD had disappointed us in one battle, that was temporary conflict, and now there is ISIS, which is our common enemy with Assad’s regime; we fight against both of them,” he said.


The Commander of the FSA confirmed that sending forces to Kobani had not affected the Aleppo front, because all the fighters were from other fronts, especially those who had withdrawn from areas after becoming under ISIS control, besides the fighters who were in Turkey.


Colonel Ukaidi expressed gratitude for Turkey’s support and facilitating the way to Kobani.


"Turkey has always proved its sincere and honest intents toward the Syrian revolution,” he said.


Ukaidi confirmed that 150 members of the Peshmerga forces entered Kobani, and they were armed with mortars and artillery. He did not consider their entry to Kobani as an interference in Syria’s internal affairs, as forces on ground called for the Peshmerga to help them in fighting ISIS.


Regarding reports that 5,000 FSA fighters will be trained in Saudi Arabia, the leader denied knowing anything about he matter, and said he had heard about it from media only.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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