Free Syrian Army confirms new leader after dispute

Photo:  Free Syrian Army confirms new leader after dispute  / Arabic region

A dispute over who will lead the Free Syrian Army was resolved Friday after two days of talks in Istanbul between different ranks of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces

According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency, the coalition approved the appointment of veteran field commander, Abdullah al-Bashir to the post.

On February 16, the Free Syrian Army discharged former chief of staff Salim Idriss and appointed al-Bashir.

The army split over the removal of Idriss, who rejected his dismissal and said ground commanders intended to cut links with the interim defense minister, Assad al-Mustafa.

In order to settle the dispute, the coalition convened in Istanbul on Thursday under the chairmanship of the coalition president Ahmad Jarba.

The coalition also approved the appointment of Staff Colonel Heysem Afisi as al-Bashir's deputy.

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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