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Syrian Free Army commander Brigadier General Riad al-Assaad warned in remarks published by As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper on Friday that the rebel force “will begin to target the Syrian army.”

“We were excluding the Syrian army at the beginning, but now we have to target it… because it is slaughtering our people,” he said

Assaad denied that his force is receiving arms from abroad.

The rebel officer also said that over 10,000 soldiers have defected from the Syrian army across the country, adding that his forces “formed a whole army with battalions conforming to the hierarchy followed in the Syrian army.”

According to Assaad, around 36 officers are present with him in Turkey in addition to around 30 soldiers, adding that the rest of the soldiers “are in the battlefield.”

He also commended Turkey and said that the latter “are the only ones standing by us now.”

“The Arabs have failed us. We have no one to [support] us but Turkey now,” Assaad said, adding that there is no military coordination with Turkey yet.

According to the United Nations, the Syrian regime’s crackdown on protests that erupted in mid-March has killed more than 2,900 people.

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