Members of the Syrian opposition and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) left Washington, DC, last night following several days of meetings with a White House official, members of Congress and State Department officials. Their message for President Trump was clear: Stop Iran and Al Qaeda in Syria, and they will work with his administration to bring peace to the war-torn nation, Fox News reported.
Some of their meetings coincided with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s major policy speech Wednesday on a new way forward on Syria. Tillerson spoke of five points that included an enduring defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda, denying Iranian influence and a unified Syria under a post-Assad leadership.
Osama Abu Zaid, FSA’s spokesperson, told Fox News the Tillerson speech was in line with a lot of what the group are seeking, but he still wants more details. "
"It’s positive because the US is still against Assad and supporting the political process about a democratic Syria and that is important," Zaid said, "but we still need clarification of the details and how to stop Iranian influence on the ground.”
"We are hopeful that Mr. Trump will take great steps to promote a unified Syria living in peace, freedom, and democracy," said Saad Fahd Al-Shweish, the former head of the Raqqa Provincial Council.
Khalid Aba, the political chief of the Levant Front, also known as Jabhat al-Shamiyah, said his group was CIA-vetted and had spearheaded anti-ISIS forces in the city of Aleppo.
"I believe that the US has shared interests with the Free Syrian Army because we are the best force to fight Iran," Aba said. "There is a dire need to defend besieged East Ghouta because it is the last bastion preventing Iran from turning south Damascus into another stronghold, like Hezbollah has in southern Beirut.
The Free Syrian Army is the military wing of the opposition to Assad regime. They claim to have approximately 60,000 troops and say the US won’t find a better partner in the fight to free Syria.