UK & World News
Syria: Rebels Give US Targets To Defeat Regime
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the United States intelligence services are working together on targets that will bring about regime change in the country, according to FSA commanders.
Senior rebels in Aleppo confirmed they have provided five specific targets that would degrade the Syrian army, would not impact on the civilian population and would give them the upper hand in the coming months.
It is widely acknowledged in northern Syria that this type of information is being passed to US "handlers" across the battlefield that is now Syria.
It means that rebel groups are passing on a picture of Bashar al Assad's force position throughout the country to the CIA.
It is an open secret that the US is training, and heavily linked to, the FSA and rebel groups in Turkey and Jordan.
British advisers are assisting rebel groups on a variety of levels, but the Government continues to insist that it is "non-military".
FSA sources tell Sky News that is true, but only in the "broadest sense" of non-military assistance.
The key question for rebel fighters is how significant the US attacks, if they come, will be.
In an Aleppo Christian church they have taken over a 3D model of the entire city. It is now covered in marker pins identifying rebel and government positions.
This is part of their planning meetings and indicates a new level of sophistication in their thought processes. They have been hopeless at times.
"We have targets and we have passed them onto our American contacts and we hope they will follow our advice," the number two commander for the FSA's Ahrar Souria Brigade, Abu Nabhan, told me.
"I won't tell you the targets, but they are specific and they will help us," he said.
The FSA says 13 of its brigades will join as one in the aftermath of "substantial" US attacks and will co-operate with jihadi groups in a push on Damascus and to the west towards the Alawite strongholds in Latakia on the Mediterranean seaboard.
Inside northern Syrian though, daily life gets grimmer by the day.
Whole villages, repopulated in recent months, are deserted once again.
Government jets and helicopters are destroying whole streets at a time with enormous bombs.
Sky News spent the last few days driving through towns and villages that are almost completely empty and finding groups of internally displaced camping by the border with Turkey, undecided if they should become refugees or return home and see if there is anything left of their former lives.
On the border Nato's second largest army is mobilising. Turkish hardware is being deployed everywhere.
This is a region preparing for a major escalation in fighting.