MESOP LATEST : Rebel leaders to respond to US Ambassador Ford

11-6-2014 – A trio of rebel leaders will make their case Wednesday that the United States should provide additional military support to vetted elements of Syria’s rebels, at a remote press conference held by the opposition Syrian National Coalition at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The Free Syrian Army-affiliated leaders, Turkey-based Col. Abdul-Jabbar Akidi, Col Afif Suleiman and Mustafa Berro, will respond to a Tuesday New York Times op-ed penned by former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford titled “Arm Syria’s Opposition.”

“The Free Syrian Army must have more military hardware, including mortars and rockets to pound airfields, to impede regime air supply operations and, subject to reasonable safeguards, surface-to-air missiles,” wrote Ford, who resigned in protest in February 2014 over American policy in Syria.

Col Abdul-Jabbar Akidi was a member of the opposition Supreme Military Council and one of the most senior Syrian rebel commanders to be backed by Britain and the United States. He resigned from his position last November citing a fracturing rebel opposition and inertia from Western supporters.