18.02.2014 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Syrian rebels are changing their leaders

665In the absence of any progress in the fight against regular Syrian troops, Washington along with the Gulf monarchies have taken measures to give additional momentum to the armed conflict in the country by changing individual leaders of the Syrian opposition “that didn’t quite meet the expectations”. Simultaneously sponsors of the armed Syrian opposition are searching for ways of improving the international “image” of the opposition, so anybody who has stained himself with close ties with terrorist groups and jihadists must go.

On February 16, the Free Syrian Army, supported by the West and the Gulf monarchies, decided to change its commander-in-chief, in hopes of escalating the armed struggle in Syria, despite the efforts taken by the international community to resolve the conflict in this country.

This decision was accepted not without participation of Washington and Gulf States during taken place in Turkey, according to television channel “Al-Arabija”, session of the Higher Council of war on which there was a Minister of Defence of the so-called provisional government generated by the Syrian opposition in last year, – Asaad Mustafa. During the meeting the members of the Council have voiced serious complaints against the former head of the FSA – Salim Idris, since he has allegedly make a lot of “mistakes”. In particular he was accused in corruption by a group of warlords who claimed that the former head of the FSA “sold weapons and ammunition to extremist groups”, despite the fact that it was Salim who had promised in early 2013 to “cleanse the opposition ranks from terrorists” Earlier Idris was repeatedly criticized by members of the Free Syrian Army because of errors in the planning of military operations and unnecessarily many trips abroad that could undermine the movement in Syria.

Let’s recall that General Salim Idris, who served as a brigadier general of the government army of Syria, defected  in July 2012 and soon (five months), was appointed Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army, effectively becoming its chief. Under his leadership, the FSA, which included a significant number of defectors from the Syrian army, undertook a series of military operations against the Syrian government troops and their Shiite allies from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, and against teams of radical Islamists who controlled “liberated” zones in the North of the country. As a result of his authority in the CCA recently dropped significantly. Opposes the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in January 2014 issued an ultimatum to all groups of the Syrian rebels, fighting against them. At the beginning of December 2013 released from the SSA Brigade “Islamic Front” captured in the Bab al-Hawa Idris headquarters and military stores, after which he reportedly U.S. media, fled to Qatar under pressure of radical Islamists.

In these circumstances, the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian opposition on February 16 it decided to change the military leadership of the rebels in connection with admitted Salem Irdis  significant errors, in order to give additional impetus to the fight against government forces and the rebel clear from terrorists”, as reported by the TV channel “Al-Arabiya”.

The new head of the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian Free Army (FSA) and its chief of staff appointed Illyahi Abdel al-Bashir . He led the Southern Front Syrian rebels in the province of Quneitra, on the border with the Golan Heights occupied by Israel and is the authoritative figure of the anti-government fighters formations. As Idris al-Bashir in 2012 left the Syrian government army.

However, as reported by Reuters, the leader of the radical Shiite group Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called on the Arab world to put an end to the Syria war. He promised to withdraw from the conflict, should the Arab forces stop the war. “If you want to save the region from the chaos that will last for decades, stop war in Syria” – said Nasrallah, referring to all political forces in the Arab world .

  Vladimir Odintsov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.