According to the UK Secretary of State MP Philip Hammond appearing on The Andrew Marr show on the 14 February 2016, Syria’s moderate opposition forces allegedly now number 150,000.
(Fast forward to 47:15 to hear Philip Hammond discuss Syria and state the number of 150,000 moderate opposition fighters.)
This is up sharply, another 80,000 on the moderate opposition numbers from just three months ago when Prime Minister David Cameron quoted 70,000, a figure apparently given to him by Intelligence sources.
The figure of 70,000 was quoted by David Cameron when delivering a speech to the House of Commons in relation to an upcoming vote on expanding military operations against IS into Syria, which was eventually passed.
The 70,000 figure was widely criticised by politicians of all political persuasions and no clear evidence of who the groups were was ever provided. David Cameron later had to back track when questioned in front of the Defence Select Committee to accept that some of those 70,000 contained fundamentalist Islamic groups.
Now, just three months later the figure has more than doubled to 150,000, still no proof is provided or names given to corroborate this.
Philip Hammond added a small caveat to the on going narrative by stating that there are 150,000 moderate forces but not all are democratic. Quite what Philip Hammond and others mean by ‘moderate’ is still to be made clear.
As reported and proven time and again on The WIDER View, the line between so called moderate and fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups fighting in Syria is blurred at the very best and numbers quoted are massively disingenuous.
The very reasons stated by the West for it’s support of the opposition from the beginning of the conflict, such as the support for the creation of a free and Democratic Syria, have disintegrated long ago.
The reality on the ground and what is achievable changed a long time ago from those reasons and narratives that are still stated by politicians and main stream media outlets five years on.