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US 'Advisors' to Syria Frustrate Anti-Assad Rebels


Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris addresses the media after he discussed the situation in Syria with the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, right, at the European Parliament.

Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris addresses the media after he discussed the situation in Syria with the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, right, at the European Parliament.

Tensions and frustrations were high as the United States said it would send forces into Northern Syria to fight Islamic State.

The frustration came from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Syrian National Coalition and Sunni Arab rebels attempting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The groups say they are upset with the U.S. government’s lack of communication with them. The U.S. announced it would send military special forces – fewer than 50 of them – to Syria to fight against Islamic State.

Rebel commanders with the FSA say they were not told of the U.S. decision. A top FSA commander told VOA in an email that “I don’t have any idea about the sending of U.S. soldiers to Syria.”

FSA leaders said they learned of the U.S.’s plans from reporters after the news was announced in Washington, D.C.

The Syrian National Coalition also complained of the U.S. strategy in Syria. SNC vice-president Nagham al-Ghadri said “from the beginning of the revolution until now, there is always an excuse why the U.S. is not supporting us more.”

Al-Ghadri said the main goal in Syria should be getting rid of Assad. She said “ISIS will be easy to get rid of when Assad is removed. Our to-do list is: No. 1, [against] the regime and to get rid of Assad and No. 2, ISIS.”

Other Syrian factions were upset when the Americans said the Kurdish YPG – an offshoot of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – is its most trusted partner on the ground in Syria.

The U.S. has increased arms supplies to FSA. But FSA is upset at the U.S. for not supplying anti-aircraft missiles.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Jamie Dettmer reported on this story for VOANews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

Do you live in Syria or the Mideast? Tell us what you think about the U.S. sending advisors to Syria. Please comment on this page or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

frustration – n. a feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something

e-mail – n. a system for sending messages from one computer to another computer

factions – n. a group within a larger group that has different ideas and opinions than the rest of the group

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