Aref Hamdoush lives in Lattakia. He is a military and political analyst and has studies military science for 5 years. His sources include friends in the Syrian army, and former friends who have joined the FSA.
Seth Rutledge - Are there many demonstrations going on in Syria?
Aref Hamdoush: Millions went into streets to tell the world we are with Bashar al Assad, millions all over Syria and even Syrians out side Syria all over the world.
S- How do most Syrians want to proceed: regime change, new elections, or something else?
A- I will answer this for sure, most Syrians want elections immediately with Assad as a candidate. Why, because more than 80% of the Syrians support him, we asked for this a long time ago.
S- Do Syrian's support the Syrian National Coalition? Are they legitimate representatives of Syria?
A- The Syrian National Coalition is not national, they represent the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood only caused us troubles in the 80s. The Syrian National Coalition want's a no-fly zone; no Syrian want's a no-fly zone unless he is an agent of the West. The Iraqis tell us: don't make our mistake.
If the SNC have the support of a large number of Syrians on the ground, then why are they afraid of the elections? Their support on the ground is getting closer to zero day by day.
You see Syrian society is made of many sects and religions. If the SNC, lead by extremists, wants to kill all of the other sects and religions then they are not with Syria. Any revolution in the world its purpose is to improve the country, not to bring it back into darkness and extremism like the USA and Saudi Arabia define Islamic. If they care about Syria they wouldn't sell it's factories to the Turks; they wouldn't cut Alawite prisoners into pieces and send the parts to their families.
S- What is your opinion of the FSA?
A- Personally if one stood by me I would kill him. They are traitors, they want peace with Israel, they are agents of the USA and Israel, and they are no longer Syrians. Do you know where the name "Free Army" came from? Do you know what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in 9/11?
When the name "Free Army" started it was in Afghanistan, that's what they called the Taliban when they fought against Russia- Free Army, Free Fighters. It's the same here with the FSA, and with the Free Lebanon Army in Lebanon.
You know it's not about who is against the system, it's about who is supporting the FSA with money, weapons, and politically. I was not with the government; I'm against 60% of what they are doing. But it's better than the FSA, they are blind to Syria. So it doesn't matter if you don't agree with the government, it's the only way for Syria to survive.
S- Is it true that the government is bombing bread lines?
A- Why would they do that? The first time the media said that there was a bread shortage Syrian TV showed people taking bread and nothing was going on. Then, about a month ago, there was a real problem getting bread because the FSA told their sleeping cells to buy large amounts of bread and throw it away. If the government blew people up while taking bread I think all the people would be against the government; and if 23 million Syrians were against the government then the government would have been gone long ago. If the Syrians want to remove the government it would be removed in weeks.
S- Who do you think is behind the bombing of Aleppo University?
A- Lets be clear: any bomb going off has Al Qaeda behind it, by all it's names.