Members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) left Washington, DC, last night after several days of meetings with a White House official, members of Congress and officials from the State Department. His message to President Trump was clear: arrest Iran and al Qaeda in Syria, and work with his administration to bring peace to the nation devastated by the war.
"We hope that Mr. Trump will take important steps to promote a unified Syria that lives in peace, freedom and democracy," said Saad Fahd Al-Shweish, former head of the Raqqa Provincial Council.
The Free Syrian Army is the military wing of the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad. They claim to have approximately 60,000 soldiers and say that the United States. UU They will not find a better partner in the struggle to liberate Syria.
Some of its meetings coincided with the important policy speech by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday on a new path for Syria. Tillerson spoke of five points that included a lasting defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda, denying Iranian influence and a unified Syria under a post-Assad leadership.
Osama Abu Zaid, one of the leaders of the FSA, told Fox News that Tillerson's speech was in line with much of what the group is looking for, but he still wants more details. "
" It is positive because the United States is still against Bashar Assad and supports the political process on a democratic Syria and that is important, "Zaid said," but we still need a clarification of the details and how to stop the Iranian influence in the "
While members of the FSA would not go into the details of their meeting at the White House, a member of the delegation, Khalid Aba, told Fox News that officials there" listened carefully to our points. "
Aba is the political leader of the Levant Front, also known as Jabhat al-Shamiyah, who said that his group had been investigated by the CIA and had led anti-ISIS forces in the city of Aleppo.
The United States has shared interests with the Free Syrian Army because we are the best force to fight Iran, "Aba said." There is an imperative need to defend [the] besieged East Ghouta [area] because it is the last bastion of It prevents Iran from converting southern Damascus into another bastion, such as Hezbollah in southern Beirut.
"Iran and Assad contributed to the creation of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups," Aba added.
Some have claimed that the FSA is too close to Turkey and Qatar and even an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, but members of the delegation say such accusations are true.  "The Free Syrian Army is interested only in defending the Syrian people," said Mustafa Sejari, founder of the Motassem Brigade, which he said was backed by the Pentagon. "We do not support the Brotherhood or any other political party, we only support the Syrian people in their aspirations for freedom and dignity"
"The global jihadist organizations are for me the same as the Iranian, Iraqi or Hezbollah militias", Zaid added: "We must eliminate them all."
Tony Badran, a Syrian analyst at the non-partisan research institute of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News that the United States should not have a Big problem trusting the FSA.
"Depending on the region, they have been targeted by more radical groups, or they have maintained a kind of coexistence to avoid internal struggles that would only benefit the Iranians and the regime," he said.
Badran also agreed with Aba that the FSA is all that stands between Iran and its partners establishing dominance over key parts of Syria.
"When it comes to southwestern Syria, on the borders with Israel and Jordan, they are the only local partners that stand in the way of [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and Hezbollah establishing a tent on the borders of our two allies," he said. Badran. "If the administration is serious about creating US areas of influence aimed at counteracting Iran's position in Syria, then, apart from [Syrian Democratic Forces] in the north and east, the FSA and other local formations are the assets of the US. And its allies to work with that objective. "
Aba told Fox News that his message to President Trump was simple: "If you really believe in the fight against Iran, you will not find a better partner than the FSA."