The FSA was established on July 29th, several months into the uprising, by officers who defected from the Syrian army. The first defections began when the government could no longer prevent massive protests, so the army was called in and soldiers were ordered to shoot at the unarmed protesters. Those who refused were either killed or managed to escape into the crowds. As the army’s activities began intensifying and expanding, the defectors’ numbers, weapons and ranks grew and loosely organised resistance groups began to form locally. Their purpose: defending civilian areas under siege. So this is what they care about, and it is the consequence of their failure or surrender that they are concerned with. This has been a natural response, which the regime must have been aware of and purposefully chose over allowing peaceful demonstrations to potentially grow into millions and take over Damascus and Aleppo. This because their chance for survival is higher during war than during peace. Such is how “the making of” an armed uprising came about. By now the FSA numbers in the thousands and still has the same defensive purpose and military character; their working tactical plans are therefore to be placed in this context. As far as ideology is concerned, the FSA is apolitical and non-sectarian.