Free Syrian Army
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The Syrian opposition coalition favored by the U.S. and its allies is in no position to fill a political vacuum that could be created if an anticipated U.S.-led military strike hastens the downfall of President Bashar Assad.
Islamist rebels in Syria, the lead force in the armed opposition, would benefit from a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian regime and advance their goal of seizing power in Damascus, analysts said Wednesday.
There's a growing sense in Congress that the U.S. should take more steps to arm Syrian rebels in their battle against the regime of President Bashar Assad, regardless of what decision President Obama reaches on whether to conduct military strikes against Damascus.
The Syrian opposition isn't fighting just a brutal Iranian-backed regime accused of killing civilians with chemical weapons; it's also battling within itself.
The Free Syrian Army has issued a fatwa prohibiting the killing of lice that appear in the Muslim beard or else "be punished with 50 lashes by Sharia," Ahlulbayt News, an English-language Shia Islamic television channel, reported Sunday.
The rebel movement on the ground in many parts of Syria is led by Islamic extremist groups hostile to the United States and they are holding at least 15 Westerners hostage, most of the them journalists, according to a published account Friday of an American who recently escaped their clutches.
Some of the emergency responders who first arrived at the scene of a purported chemical weapons attack outside Damascus have died, lending further credence to claims that President Bashar Assad used poisonous gases to fight rebel forces.
A Free Syrian Army spokesman has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of giving two shipments of chemical weapons to Hezbollah, the terrorist group that's based in Lebanon.