Syria’s top rebel commander ran away to Doha

Syria’s top rebel commander ran away to Doha
Thu Dec 12, 2013 13:44:22

Top Western-backed commander of the Syria militants has ran away from the deadly war he has been leading to Qatar, US officials have said.

According to US officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, commander of the so-called Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idris was taken away by a group of militants to Qatar’s capital, Doha.

General Idris fled to Doha, Qatar on Sunday after leaving Syria for Turkey, US officials said Wednesday.

"He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters," a senior US official said.

The ‘Islamic Front’ is a coalition of the largest militant factions, excluding two top Al-Qaeda-associated groups, the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Syria.

A spokesman for the Islamic Front also confirmed that Gen. Idris had left Syria.

On Friday, radical militants from the Islamic Front seized several premises containing non-lethal aid from the US. The aid belonged to the so-called Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army at the Bab al-Hawa crossing near the Turkish border, Reuters reported.

The turn of events was the strongest sign yet that the US-allied militant group is collapsing under the pressure of al-Qaeda domination in the war.

The Syrian opposition has largely lost its creditability among its followers in Syria for taking al-Qaeda’s force at its side when they first infiltrated the country.

Despite violent crimes by al-Qaeda militants in Syria which led to US and other countries dubbing their affiliated groups including al-Nusra Front as terrorist groups, the then leader of the so-called Syrian National Coalition Moaz Khatib acknowledged them as their ally on their war on the Syrian government.

Idris was elected as the Chief of Staff of the so-called Supreme Military Council following its establishment in a conference held in Turkey on 15 December 2012.

He has been a strong opponent of internationally supported talks planned to be held in Geneva to end the crisis.

Instead, he has been calling for ‘game changing’ weaponry to turn the war in favor of the militants.

The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.


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