The Russian Foreign Minister rebuked accusations that the Russian Air Force in Syria targets the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or so-called "moderate rebels” saying:
"No one has told us where the Free Syrian Army operates or where and how the other units of the moderate opposition act. . … We will even be ready to establish contact with it, if these are indeed efficient armed groups of the patriotic opposition that consist of Syrians. … So far, the Free Syrian Army remains a "phantom group … Nothing is known about it.”
Lavrov called on the United States Secretary of State John Kerry to explain what the Free Syrian Army is and where it is based. Last week Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made a similar comment, saying
"There is absolutely controversial information about this so-called army. … What is Free Syrian Army? Is this an official term? Are they official armed forces or what is it”.
nsnbc investigations and other reports have shown that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), prior to June and July 2012 consisted of some Syrian Muslim Brotherhood associated fighters, some few former Syrian Arab Army soldiers, and a large number of mercenaries from Libya and other countries.
This foreign-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) suffered two decisive defeats in June and July 2012, a little more than a year after the eruption of the conflict. The decline of the FSA and the increased presence of Salafist / Wahhabi fighters in 2012 was, among others documented by the International Crisis Group, in their comprehensive report entitled "Tentative Jihad”.
By December 2013 the remainders of the FSA began to break up and more western, Turkish and Gulf Arab support was channeled to the Al-Qaeda associated Jabhat Al-Nusrah, ISIL and other mercenary or semi-mercenary insurgencies.
CH/L – nsnbc 05.10.2015