Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | FSA | training | obama administration

Gen. Paul Vallely: 'Training' of Free Syrian Army is a 'Ruse'

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:56 AM

"Training" the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is an unnecessary waste of time, Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely said Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"Most of the Free Syrian Army defected from the Syrian army and ever since day one, under Col. Riad and Col. Al-Maliki, they have fought in the battles and the tactics," Vallely said. "Now I worked with them on tactics of taking aircraft out on the ground, which they did within 48 hours and we had stopped international traffic going into Damascus within 30 days. That's the kind of tactical support that they need on the ground and eyes and ears they have with good intelligence operations. They control a lot of the crossing points so this is a whole ruse. This does not make sense that they need training. These are trained fighters."

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The Obama administration says training FSA fighters is necessary to establish "credible, local ground forces" to accompany U.S. airstrikes.

During his three trips to the region to vet the Free Syrian Army, Vallely said he met about 450 commanders, all of whom were well trained in armed forces and have already been in combat for some three years.

"They need support, they need humanitarian aid support for their families, arms, and with some Special Forces beside them to help them with their ground operations," he said.

Referring to the people willing to battle the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East as moderate Syrian rebels is a mischaracterization, Vallely said, explaining that they are "freedom fighters" from many professional backgrounds.

"When you get over there on the ground, these people, the Free Syrian Army commanders, there's like a round table of 10 generals that advise Col. Riad and Col. Al-Maliki in running the Free Syrian Army," he said.

"When I was over there the first time two years ago, their numbers were like 60,000 to 80,000 in the Free Syrian Army and they weren't only soldiers. There were doctors, there were judicial types, there were educators so a lot of the defectors that left Assad came from many backgrounds. So that's why calling them rebel forces is not the correct term. These are freedom fighters fighting for a free Syria and a secular Syria."

Vallely voiced concern over the apparent divide between President Barack Obama and his advising military brass about the best strategy to defeat the violent terror group.

"I don't think there's any escape from this incompetency of the national security team to actually let the generals and admirals fight the war and get it done the correct way with minimum causalities, minimum collateral damage," he said, adding that the generals and admirals must "really stand up and shout out because they are basically being shunted again like McNamara did in Vietnam where you have the White House calling out the targets and picking the targets rather than letting it up to your field commanders to do it."
 
To ensure success, he added, other Arab nations must be committed to the fight.

"Turkey is such a big violator of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Erdoğan, and they need to be taken to task for the support that they're giving the radicals," he said. "But I would like to see Jordan do some more, I'd like to see Saudi Arabia do more. Egypt's trying to hold its own down there itself by protecting the Suez and Libya and Sudan from the south where there's a lot of turmoil. So the Egyptians are very busy protecting that area of interest down there. So you've got to have these other Arab countries stand up and do something.

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"Training" the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is an unnecessary waste of time, Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely said Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
FSA, training, obama administration
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2014-56-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:56 AM
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