The leader of the Syrian rebel coalition has asked the United States to reconsider sanctions against an al-Qaida faction fighting alongside the coalition, on the same day that White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted the coalition would support democracy when the civil war ends.
“We believe that the Syrian people, and the Syrian opposition coalition … are interested in a future for Syria that includes a transition towards greater democracy, greater rights for its citizens, more economic prosperity,” Carney said Dec. 12.
But the head of the coalition today called on Washington to reconsider the terror sanction on the Syrian al-Nusrah Front fighting group. That sanction restricts the flow of U.S. aid to the coalition.
“We can have ideological and political differences with certain parties, but the revolutionaries all share the same goal: to overthrow the criminal regime,” National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib said Dec. 12 at a Morocco meeting.
The meeting was called by the U.S. and other countries to declare the Syrian coalition the legitimate government of Syria.
That’s a risky policy, because the administration has inadvertently helped jihadi-allied Islamist groups gain weapons and power in Libya, Egypt and Mali.
President Barack Obama’s decision to support the Syrian rebels has won some applause in the nation’s capital.
“He did the right thing — he just did it about 15, 16 months too late,” Ralph Peters, a writer and former Army officer, told Fox News Dec. 12.
“By not supporting those [Syrians] fighting for a secular democracy … we have empowered some awful jihadis,” he said.