Obama Administration Recognizes Syrian Opposition Forces
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Dec 12
The U.S. is now officially standing with the coalition of fighters opposing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime, President Barack Obama declared in an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters scheduled to air on ABC's "20/20" Friday. "We've made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population, that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," Obama said. "Not everybody who's participating on the ground in fighting Assad are people who we are comfortable with. There are some who, I think, have adopted an extremist agenda, an anti-U.S. agenda, and we are going to make clear to distinguish between those elements." ReligionToday.com previously reported that in February, al Qaeda's leader called for the ouster of the Assad regime, urging Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to support Syrian rebels. Syrian Christians, who fear for their future should Assad be defeated, say the growing presence of foreign Islamic fighters in the country and many Islamist brigades within the opposition Free Syrian Army are of particular concern. Innocent Christians and communities that have not joined the uprising against Assad continue to become victims at the hand of radicals as the total death toll now tops 42,000.