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Syria rebels deny presence of Kuwaitis

11 June 2012, 13:12

 Kuwait City - Syrian rebel army chief, Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, denied in comments published on Monday that Kuwaitis were fighting alongside his men against forces of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"Reports indicating the presence of Arab fighters [in Syria] are totally baseless," Asaad was quoted as saying by Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper.

"There are no non-Syrian members in the FSA which consists only of Syrian soldiers and officers fighting to protect the revolution," the Turkey-based commander of the Free Syrian Army said.

The Syrian regime is trying to spread such reports to show that "there are jihadists, members of al-Qaeda and armed groups active in Syria which is harmful to the revolution", he said.

On Sunday, Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper reported that dozens of Kuwaitis have crossed the Syrian-Turkish border to fight alongside the FSA, citing relatives of the fighters.

But Asaad insisted that the FSA does not need outside fighters, but only material and financial help.

The FSA consists mainly of former troops who have deserted the regular Syrian army in protest against the regime's brutal crackdown on an uprising against Assad's rule.

The uprising, which erupted in March 2011, has left more than 14 100 people dead so far, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.



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