"I am a 100 percent with the strike," he says. "We instructed all our commanders to be alert and ready to attack regime positions, security forces, and checkpoints. The strike is going to be limited but we will try to take advantage of it anyway."
Al-Din contends that all FSA battalions are coordinating with each other on how to exploit the aftermath of the strike, but they are not necessarily coordinating with Islamist factions. However, he is quick to add, "there is no tension between the FSA and Islamists either."
The Homs commander's comments are just one indication of a broader attempt by Islamists and FSA units to present a united front, at precisely a moment when foreign military intervention could tear them apart. In several interviews with members of Islamist factions, fighters downplayed recent signs of fractures, emphasizing that FSA and Islamist fighters were united in their struggle against the Assad regime.
"The relationship is excellent and the proof is that all our military operations are carried out conjointly with the FSA," said Abu Abd al-Rahman, the spokesperson of the Syrian Islamist Front. He cited the recent capture of the Mannagh Airbase near Aleppo as an example, explaining how both Islamist and moderate brigades took part in the offensive.
"There is no fear of betrayal" between the units, he added pointedly.
But the jihadists' belief that increased American involvement may isolate them from more moderate rebel factions no doubt weighs heavily on their minds -- and may inform their opposition to a U.S. strike. Abu Obaida, as a member of the Ahrar al-Sham movement, is aware that the Americans would likely never consider him a respectable interlocutor.
"We are tired of being referred to by terms pinned down by the West such as 'radicals, militants, extremists and fanatics,'" he complains. "We have given our organizations clear names. Why can't they at least use them?"
Apart from the fighters, Syria's civil society activists -- by far the most battered section of the uprising -- are less cautious about their support for a strike. Many of them are extremely hostile to the radical Islamist factions which they blame for the Syrian revolution veering off course. They have been savoring a rumor that al Qaeda's branch in Syria has fled the northern province of Raqqa and hidden in the desert prior to the U.S. strike. With more than 110,000 people killed during the conflict and countless more arrested, many of these activists are clinging to any hope for an end to the conflict.
Abu Qatada, a 24-year-old activist in the Damascus suburbs, has fought the desire to commit suicide for a year now. When the Syrian uprising erupted, he was one year away from obtaining a degree in psychology from the University of Damascus, but immediately put his studies on hold to join an FSA battalion as a media activist. He soon went into hiding and started moving from location to location with the armed group, which became his adoptive family. As the war ground on, he watched these men drop in battle day after day.
"I have nothing to live for anymore," he used to say. "Life now is like death. It all feels the same".
Now, however, he is entertaining the possibility of having some kind of future again should the U.S. strike unravel the stalemate. After having come to terms with his dashed dreams, he is now timidly talking about studying international law in the United States next year. But most of all, he is simply waiting to see what the next weeks bring.
"I don't know what the Americans have in mind but we're eager for this strike to happen," he said. "I will decide how I feel about the U.S. after they strike, depending on how they strike, who they strike, and when they strike."