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Friday, December 07, 2012

US Ambassador to Syria warns of the rise of al-Qaeda

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford is warning that al-Qaeda and similar radical organizations are gaining control of Syria.
“The longer the violence goes on the more extremist groups benefit,” Ford said Thursday afternoon during a discussion organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“It’s incumbent on us to bolster moderates in the political opposition,” said Ford, who stated that while Assad is clearly “losing” the battle, “there will be substantial fighting in the days ahead.”

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“Extremist groups in Syria have little by little been gaining influence among the armed opposition,” Ford said. “There is an al Qaeda in Iraq affiliate operating in Syria more and more and there are groups cooperating with it. That really is a problem.”

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“If we can keep these Syrian leaders united I think there will be less chance for Iran, Russia, pernicious actors, [the terror group] Hezbollah, to intervene in a negative way,” Ford said in perhaps his most candid moment.
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