Non-paper on Strategic Cooperation to defeat ISIS in Syria

The exigent operational circumstances on the ground present a dire threat to the Syrian
people and to the security interests of our international allies. As such, the Syrian
Opposition Coalition has proposed the establishment of a scalable Syrian Rapid
Deployment Force (SRDF) that will form a nucleus of a larger stabilization force of ten
thousand vetted and trained fighters.

This effort will be at the forefront at defeating ISIS and its enablers. We have fought
ISIS and are fighting the Nusra Front at a time when the Assad regime and Hizballah
militias are making dangerous advances on the Allepo front while ISIS aids these
advances by pushing deeper into the liberated territories.

We are committed to establishing a foundation for a strategic partnership with the
United States in the fight against transnational extremist groups that threaten us both.
The Free Syrian Army and tribal leaders have proven to be the most effective force in
fighting back ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates.

We are also in the process of implementing a plan to establish offices and services
inside the liberated territories to provide a political framework that connects to the
military effort.

We are thankful for the military aid that the United States has provided and facilitated in
conjunction with regional allies. We ask for a re-energized strategic effort to better
enable the Free Syrian Army and moderate tribal leaders to defeat ISIS, halt the
advance of the Assad regime’s militias, and defend the Syrian people from atrocities.

The Stabilization Force will have the following mission:

1) Border Control
2) Stabilization and law enforcement
3) Fighting Extremists
4) Defending the populace
5) Establishing security for governance and civilian oversight to ensure that Syria does
not become a hub for terror operations.

Accordingly we propose the following

• Surging critical military aid into Allepo and Deir Ezzor to counter ISIS and halt the
Assad regime militia’s advances. The attached addendum provides a detailed request
of weapon systems and salaries for tribes and local fighters needed to effectively
counter Al Qaeda and its enablers. We ask for the emergency provision of excess
U.S. Defense articles, ammunition, and secure communication platforms either directly
or through an allied third party.

• Accelerating the train and equip program. We recommend the establishment of a
stabilization brigade for northern Syria, southern Syria, and in the east in Deir Ezzor.
The goal will be for total initial force will be 10,000 personnel by December 2014.

• Establishment of a Joint Security Coordination Cell (JSCC) to meet on a bi -monthly
basis to coordinate anti-ISIS operations and to serve as a “Fusion Center” for
information sharing and targeting support. The JSCC can be comprised of requisite
U.S. government personnel and Opposition political and military leadership.

• Within the context of fighting global Al Qaeda network, requesting Congress to
increase the appropriated funds to the train and equip program and to significantly
increase existing appropriations for salary payments to vetted FSA units fighting ISIS
and Al Qaeda affiliates. Extremists continue to seize huge caches of equipment, while
Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia continue to fund, arm, and bolster regime forces. A
balance of resources is badly needed to ensure that extremist forces do not expand in
a vacuum.

• We request the rapid deployment of a Special Operations Forces team to begin an
immediate “train the trainer” program to already vetted FSA field officers.

The ISIS terrorist army and its Assad enablers pose an existential threat to the Syrian
people and to the region of the security as a whole. The Free Syrian Army has
demonstrated that it is a capable and willing partner in the fight against terror. We ask
that we move forward together in implementing this action plan before it is too late.


Hadi al-Bahra
President, Syrian Opposition Coalition

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