Head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), 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 armed opposition forces 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 “jihadists” have crossed the Turkish border into Syria to support the Free Syrian Army’s fight against Assad.
The FSA, the country’s main armed resistance force, is reportedly welcoming the Kuwaiti fighters for “jihad operations,” relatives of the Kuwaiti fighters told al-Qabas.
Fighters of other nationalities, including “large groups of Algerians, Saudis and Pakistanis,” have also joined the dozens of Kuwaitis in Syria, the report stated.
But Asaad said the FSA does not need outside fighters, just material and financial aid.
The FSA consists mainly of former Syrian troops who have deserted the army in protest against the government's bloody crackdown, which has left more than 14,100 people dead since March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The FSA is increasingly gaining ground, stepping up its attacks on government troops and expanding the areas under its control.