Defense minister stay, army chief out: Free Syrian Army top command

By Alaa Walid, Friday, March 07, 2014

The Free Syrian Army is split over ouster of Salim Idriss

The Free Syrian Army is split over ouster of Salim Idriss

CAIRO – The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army announced on Friday that interim defense minister Assad al-Mustafa was staying in his post, reaffirming the sacking of Free Syrian Army chief Salim Idriss.

Colonel Qasim Sadaddin, the council`s spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that they had not endorsed a recent agreement between National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces leader Ahmad Jarba and the Free Syrian Army field commanders on removing al-Mustafa.

Jarba and the Free Syrian Army ground commanders met in Istanbul earlier to resolve a bitter row triggered by the ouster of Idriss two weeks ago.

According to the deal reached, both al-Mustafa and Idriss were to submit their resignations.

"The agreement is ink on paper. It`s null and void," Sadaddin told AA, insisting that the Supreme Military Council has the authority to accept or refuse such a deal.

Citing the ineffectiveness of the general staff in the past few months, the council sacked Idriss on February 17 and appointed veteran field commander Abdullah al-Bashir in his place.

The Free Syrian Army`s ground commanders rejected the decision, saying they would only take orders from Idriss.

The Free Syrian Army is the main armed opposition group in Syria fighting to topple the country`s president, Bashar al-Assad.

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