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“Unless we get into this business in earnest, we’re going to see things gravitate more and more toward radicals who have received a good deal of money from private sources from the Gulf, and who because they have the money and have the arms are able to attract young Syrians who want to be in the fight who don’t necessarily have anything to do or any attractions toward an al Qaeda-type philosophy,” Mr. Hof said.

He added: “The people with the resources have a certain magnetic quality in a situation likes this. This is why we have to make sure Idriss has the resources. If people inside the country see him as the exclusive source of everything coming in from the outside, I guarantee you we will begin to see a Free Syrian Army that actually has a chain of command, command and control, and all the other attributes of a normal military force.”

Gen. Vallely said Col. al-Asaad and other Free Syrian Army commanders have one main request for the U.S. — launch airstrikes against the attack helicopters and jets that keep the Assad regime in power.

“With that and logistical support, they will bring Assad down in 30 days,” he said.