BEIRUT (AP) — As diplomats try to negotiate an agreement to disarm Damascus of its chemical weapons, Syrian opposition forces are feeling let down and more divided than ever because of President Barack Obama’s decision to seek a diplomatic path.
Many rebels had held out hopes that U.S.-led strikes on President Bashar Assad’s government would help tip the scales as the two sides faced a deadly stalemate. Now they say America has indirectly given the embattled leader a second wind as a statesman negotiating with world powers.
Mohammad Joud, an opposition fighter in the war-shattered northern city of Aleppo, said via Skype that he always knew they were alone, “but thanks to Obama’s shameful conduct, others are waking up to this reality as well.”
Rebels who have fought for 2 ½ years to topple Assad say the U.S. has repeatedly reneged on promises to assist their rebellion. In June, Obama announced he would provide lethal aid to the rebels, but so far none of that assistance has gotten to the opposition and the Syrian leader’s forces have gained the advantage.