Exiled Syria opposition confirms new army chief

BEIRUT (AP) — A coalition of Syrian opposition groups has confirmed its choice for a new army chief after the former military leader refused to step down.

The Western-backed coalition's higher military council issued a statement Saturday confirming Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir was their new chief, replacing Gen. Salim Idris.

The military council originally made the announcement appointing al-Bashir on Feb. 17.

But two days later Idris rejected his dismissal, badly embarrassing the Western-backed coalition.

Then Idris, along with more than a dozen senior insurgent commanders severed ties with the political opposition-in-exile, further fragmenting the notoriously divided rebel movement.

Idris was ousted by colleagues who blamed him for the waning influence of the coalition-backed Free Syrian Army, as Islamic-orientated brigades grew in power.

Al-Bashir is a rebel commander from southern Syria.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • At the Finish Line
    The man who saved horse racing in Washington tells Dori Monson why he's stepping away

  • Week In Photos
    Stunning images from around the world this week
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.