Syria’s top opposition commander lashed out at British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, accusing him of betrayal after he scrapped plans to arm rebel fighters.
In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, head of the Free Syrian Army General Salim Idriss, said the move would “leave us alone to be killed” by President Bashar al-Assad, who’s forces are backed by fighters from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Idriss also said it would pave the way for al-Qaeda to dominate the opposition ranks.
“The West promises and promises. This is a joke now,” Idriss said. “I have not had the opportunity to ask David Cameron personally if he will leave us alone to be killed. On behalf of all the Syrians, thank you very much.”
“What are our friends in the West waiting for?” asked Idriss. “For Iran and Hezbollah to kill all the Syrian people?”
Cameron on Monday abandoned plans to arm the rebels on advice from the British military, according to The Telegraph, despite previously lobbying two months ago for an end to the European Union arms embargo.
“Military chiefs at Britain’s National Security Council are understood to have warned Downing Street that the conflict was now too advanced for basic weapons supplies to make much difference,” the newspaper reported.
A much-larger scale intervention, involving jet strikes on regime air defenses and bases, would achieve this, military chiefs said. But Britain has already ruled out such intervention in the war-torn country.
“Instead, Britain will draw up plans to train moderate rebel units and continue supplying “non-lethal” items like body armor and communications equipment,” the Telegraph reported.