MESOP : Arguments & Analysis – “Protests Sweep across Syria During Ceasefire” (Saleem al-Omar, SyriaSource)

9 March 2016 – THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL – “In spite of the armed opposition’s weakened situation after the Russian intervention, most military commanders joined the demonstrations. Numerous leaders of armed groups participated in the protests in Maaret al-Nu’man in the eastern Idlib suburbs, including Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Saoud, commander of the 13th Division of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

‘The regime is rethinking its position and gathering its strength during ceasefire. We are also regrouping. My participation in this protest is a clear sign that the main task entrusted to us is protecting peaceful protestors during times of peace and war. These innocent people demanded the Assad’s departure. There is no way around that,’ said Saoud. ‘We support and the respect the ceasefire. Our presence among peaceful protestors is a key proof of this position.’”