Riad al-Asaad: We treat our prisoners well

Orient Net - Special 2016-01-31 12:58:00

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Colonel Riad al-Asaad defected from the Syrian Air Force in July 2011 and became one of the founding members of the Free Syrian Army that swore an oath to protect Syrians from their enemies.

His defection made him a prime target of the regime and in March 2013, the FSA leader lost his leg following the explosion of a bomb that had been planted in his car in the Deir Ezzor town of Al-Mayadeen.

Although his position as leader of the formal FSA was eclipsed in late 2012 with the formation of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council, al-Asaad continues to hold a primarily symbolic role as its commander-in-chief.

In remarks he made to Al-Hayat on Friday, al-Asaad stated that factions affiliated with the rebel organization have taken prisoner a “large number” of Iranian and Hezbollah combatants.

He also stated that FSA groups have in their custody not only Iranian and Hezbollah troops, but also members of Iraqi militias who had been fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime.

Although al-Asaad was not willing to give details such as how many prisoners were being held, he did say that there were officers, including an Iranian captain, among them.

When questioned as to what the fate of the prisoners will be al- Asaad said: “We treat the prisoners that are in our hands well and we provide them with protection from certain parties that try to kill them so that they can accuse the FSA of killing its prisoners.”