Syria's rebel commander expected to visit United States

By REUTERS
July 18, 2013 22:55

WASHINGTON - Syria's top rebel commander is likely to visit the United States next week, US-based Syrian opposition representatives said on Thursday, and he is expected to make a plea for speedy US arms shipments.

General Salim Idriss, who leads the rebel Supreme Military Council, is expected to go to New York for meetings at the United Nations and will perhaps also visit Washington.

His trip to the United States is not fully confirmed and details are still being worked out, said Elizabeth O'Bagy, political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force advocacy group.

The Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad are frustrated that US plans to send weapons to them have been delayed in Congress.

"I'm sure it will be foremost on the agenda of whatever meetings he (Idriss) has," O'Bagy said. "I'm sure they will talk a lot about conditions on the ground inside Syria, which are very critical."

Mariam Jalabi of the Syrian National Coalition and a UN Security Council diplomat confirmed plans for Idriss to visit the United States.


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