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

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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