Syrian opposition appoints new military chief | Inquirer News

Syrian opposition appoints new military chief

/ 04:45 PM February 17, 2014

BEIRUT, Lebanon—The coalition of Syrian opposition groups in exile has appointed a new army chief, following a year of seeing their influence fade among fighters within Syria.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said Tuesday that it was appointing Brigadier Abd al-Ilah al-Bashir to head the Free Syrian Army.

He replaces General Salim Idris, seen as a secular-leaning moderate.


In a statement, the coalition said they hoped al-Bashir would strengthen the role of the FSA.


The switch comes after a series of so-far failed talks in Switzerland between officials loyal to President Bashar Assad and exiled opposition activists to try to resolve the three-year war.

It also comes after at least a year of the FSA losing influence to other, more hard-line rebel groups, including Al-Qaeda affiliates and spinoffs.


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