“In reality, a UN resolution is no longer necessary, and might even be counterproductive if it was phrased in such a way as to equate Assad’s mindless crackdown with the legitimate rebellion it succeeded in instigating,” US-based Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid wrote in an online newsletter circulated Monday. “What is needed at this stage is the ability and willingness to provide the necessary materiel and logistical support to the rebels and to provide protest leaders with the training and advice necessary to lead the transitional period themselves.”
However, an international decision to support the FSA could risk a backlash from the Syrian regime and its powerful allies in Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, risking trouble spilling beyond its borders. Furthermore, while backing an FSA campaign of attrition against the Assad regime may be seen in the West as the least worst solution in the absence of a diplomatic alternative and or international intervention, but the level of violence in Syria would assuredly increase and could last many months before the balance falls in favor of the opposition.
Obtaining sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain the struggle against the Assad regime is a daily challenge for the FSA, which has tenuous control of some Damascus suburbs, part of the Idlib province in the north, and the town of Zabadani near the border with Lebanon.
“We need everything,” says Mohammed, an FSA officer in his late 30s who was hiding in the home of a radical Lebanese cleric in Tripoli. “RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], PKCs [light machine guns], silencers, ammunition. There are so many of us that we need much more than we are getting.”