Free Syrian Army Deserter Reveals How the U.S. Sent Fighters to Idlib to Carry Out Sabotage and Intimidate the Population

Former Colonel Sultan Aid Abdella Souda, arrested in February by Syrian military counterintelligence, has confessed that the United States is sending fighters into Damascus-controlled territory, in particular Idlib, to carry out acts of sabotage targeting the Syrian military.

Souda revealed that he joined the Mahavir as-Saura group and was trained by the U.S. military, which then paid him a salary of $500 a month.

“There were no problems with the weapons. We received them from the American Army itself. They were imported through Saudi Arabia and Jordan,” said the former colonel, adding that “the best weapons were NATO’s”.

Souda admitted that after being trained, the fighters were sent east of the Euphrates to sabotage the oil facilities and infrastructure controlled by the government “to harm and intimidate the people”.

“I don’t know what happened, but the Americans cut funding and said if we wanted to make more money, we had to conduct operations outside the 55 kilometer zone” around the Al Tanf military base, the deserter said. The former colonel added that some fighters were sent to Al Hasakah province, while others were sent to Idlib.

Souza defected in 2013 and 2016, began working with the U.S. armed forces and became a support commander in Al-Tanf. In December 2019, he was imprisoned for 58 days for using his cell phone in the territory of the U.S. military base.

Subsequently, he chose to leave Al Tanf with his family. Following his arrest, Souza provided information on illegal armed groups, the number of personnel and weapons at the U.S. base, and the location of some important facilities.