Rebels announce internal Syria command structure

March 29, 2012 21:58

BEIRUT - Syria's armed opposition announced on Thursday a local command structure that aims to bring together disparate rebel groups inside the country under the command of defected officers exiled in neighboring Turkey.

"We declare the formation of the joint command of the Free Syrian Army in Syria to be coordinated with the leadership of the Free Syrian Army outside (the country)," a Paris-based spokesman for the Supreme Rebel Military Council, Fahad al-Masri, said in a statement.

The move, which names five colonels in the flashpoint provinces of Homs, Hama, Idlib, Deir al-Zor and Damascus, was the latest in a string of attempts to unify armed opposition groups who have been fighting to oust President Bashar Assad.

The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), Riad al-Asaad, said on Saturday a military council grouping exiled rebel chiefs, including Syria's most senior army deserter, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, had been formed.

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