FSA's expelled chief quits Syrian opposition coalition

FSA's expelled chief quits Syrian opposition coalition
Thu Feb 20, 2014 16:06:46

The sacked leader of Syria’s main militant group has totally quitted the opposition, marking deeper divisions among the foreign-backed group which is continuing its deadly war to replace the Syrian government.

General Salim Idris, the former commander of the militancy group called Free Syrian Army (FSA), announced on Wednesday his departure from the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) along with more than a dozen other fellow militant commanders.

Speaking in a video statement, flanked by several top field commanders of the FSA Supreme Military Council (SMC), Idris said, “We... have been asked to start working on a total restructuring of the SMC.”

The militant commanders are angry over a recent decision by the Syrian National Coalition to dismiss Idris as the head of its military wing and replace him with General Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir.

The development comes after dozens of foreign-backed militant groups announced their separation from the SNC and the FSA last year over differences on leadership.

The military wing of the Western-backed Syrian opposition announced on February 16 that it has sacked its chief of staff due to difficulties in the war they have imposed against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The FSA declared Bashir as the replacement for Idris in a statement posted online.

The anti-Damascus military coalition was established in 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.


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