Middle East

Free Syrian Army fires military chief

The FSA has sacked leader Salim Idriss for being "ineffective" and lacking experience in leading military operations.

Last updated: 18 Feb 2014 04:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The rebel Free Syrian Army has fired Salim Idriss as its military chief, calling him "ineffective" and lacking in experience to lead military operations on the ground.

In a video broadcast on the internet on Sunday, the rebel coalition said its military council had decided to replace Idriss with Brigadier General Abdel-ilah Albashir.

Colonel Qassem Saadeddine said the decision was taken due to "the paralysis within the military command these past months".

Syria expert discusses Free Syrian Army

A source inside the Syrian opposition told AFP news agency that Idriss, who was appointed to the role in December 2012, had faced criticism for failings on the battlefield.

Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh, reporting from Istanbul, said the Supreme Military Council said Idriss was "ineffective" and "lacked the military experience to run operations on the ground".

They also said he had bad relations with other rebel forces fighting on the ground.

"Combined with the failure of the Geneva talks, the head of the Syrian National Coalition returned to Syria and promised rebels in Idlib that they would soon be receiving more weapons and support," our correspondent said.

This restructuring is intended to raise morale amongst the FSA, once the country's strongest armed opposition force but now increasingly becoming marginalised by rival groups.

It has been weakened by internal rifts and by competition from other rebel coalitions such as the Islamic Front, a powerful alliance formed last year that is now the largest rebel force with tens of thousands of fighters.

In December, the US and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to the FSA, dealing a major blow to a group that appears caught between advancing regime forces and the increasingly unified Islamic Front.

317

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list