Syrian Rebel Leader Vows 'Surprise' for Regime

Colonel Riad al-Asaad says he's frustrated with Arab League's lack of results
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2012 10:52 AM CST
Soldiers of the Free Syrian Army, formed by army deserters, take position in an undisclosed location in Syria on December 7, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The head of the Free Syrian Army is fed up with the ineffectual Arab League observer mission, and if it doesn’t show some progress soon, he’s going to “take a decision which will surprise the regime and the whole world,” he told Reuters in an interview yesterday. Colonel Riad al-Asaad last week told his forces to stop attacking the regime’s troops while the observers did their work, but the observers have so far proven ineffectual in stopping violence against protesters.

“Since they entered, we had many more martyrs,” he said. “Is it in the Syrian people’s interest to allow the massacre to continue?” He says he’s waiting for the League’s official report on its first week before deciding whether to make a “transformative shift” and escalate the conflict with the regime. By Reuters’ count 132 people have been killed since monitors entered Syria. Activists met with the observers yesterday, and said they seemed powerless to help. (Read more Syria stories.)

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