Syrian rebel leader: We have no US military support

“Honestly, frankly, till now, there is no military support,” Gen. Salim Idris, leader of the Free Syrian Army, told NPR Thursday morning. 

“We were waiting, and are still waiting to receive weapons and ammunition. We told our friends in the United States we hope that you will support us. We are in most need for anti-tank size, anti-aircraft size.” 

Idris said U.S. officials told rebel leaders it’s very difficult to supply them with anti-aircraft-sized equipment. 

The Washington Post exclusively reported Wednesday night the Central Intelligence Agency has been providing small arms and ammunition to the rebels in the last two weeks. 

Months ago, the Obama administration promised the rebels it would send the weapons. In the last few weeks, Obama and some lawmakers have said their goal is to “upgrade the opposition” in Syria while downgrading Assad’s capabilities. 

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Idris said he met with five of his commanders Wednesday whom he said are frustrated with the situation. “They think our friends will leave us alone,” referring to the U.S. 

President Obama explained to the nation Tuesday he will first explore a diplomatic plan Russia put on the table Monday that requires Syria to surrender its chemical weapons. 

Secretary of State Kerry is in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday assessing whether it’s a viable solution. 

“The Russian initiative is just a lie,” Idris told NPR. “And the Russian administration, especially Pres. [Vladimir] Putin, and [Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov are playing games.” 

Idris recently called Putin a “terrorist” and a “liar” in an interview with Fox News. 

He said despite the diplomatic deal, the rebels still want the U.S. to strike Syria. 

“We are ready, our forces are ready, our fights are ready and we were and still waiting for these strikes. We hope that these strikes will be done in a short time.”