The Corner

Free Syrian Army Filmmaker Says Rebels ‘Laughing’ at U.S. Plan, ‘Don’t Take This Seriously’

A documentary filmmaker who spent time with the Free Syrian Army said that moderate rebels are “laughing” at President Obama’s plan to arm them against the Islamic State, claiming they simply “don’t take this seriously.”

Matthew VanDyke, an American filmmaker and a friend of executed journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, spoke with Fox News’s Shepard Smith about the White House’s plan to arm and train thousands of rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, a more moderate rebel group that’s friendly with the West, in order to encourage them to fight the Islamic State.

VanDyke warned that removing the Islamic State from vast swathes of Syrian territory will create a “vacuum” that Assad-regime forces will rush to fill, leaving moderate rebels powerless to stop them. “When the administration announces that they intend to train 5,000 soldiers in Jordan, of the Free Syrian Army, to go and claim these territories, that figure doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

“It’s actually quite ridiculous,” the filmmaker continued. “I’m not sure how the administration even expects people to believe it.”

“Syrians on the ground are surely laughing at it,” VanDyke said. ”My contacts in Syria don’t take this seriously. They’re very concerned. They don’t want to be fighting the Assad regime’s battles for them by only going after ISIS.”

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