EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

September 23, 2012

Syrian rebels move command

BEIRUT (AP) — The leaders of the rebel Free Syrian Army said yesterday they moved their command center from Turkey to Syria with the aim of uniting rebels and speeding up the fall of President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Brig. Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh, who heads the FSA’s Military Council, told The Associated Press that the group made the move last week. He would not say where the new headquarters is located or give other details.

The FSA is the most prominent of the rebel groups trying to topple Assad, though its authority over networks of fighters in Syria is limited. Its commanders have been criticized for being based in Turkey while thousands are killed inside Syria.

Despite the announcement of the command move, rebels still have to rely on Turkey as a rear base for supplies and reinforcements. In the past few months, rebels have captured wide swaths of Syrian territory bordering Turkey, along with three border crossings, allowing them to ferry supplies and people into Syria.

FSA commander Col. Riad al-Asaad announced the move of the command center in a video with the title “Free Syrian Army Communique Number 1 from Inside.” Wearing a military uniform and surrounded by a dozen gunmen, the commander said the aim is to “start the plan to liberate Damascus soon, God willing.”

Al-Sheikh, the other top FSA commander, said moving the command “will speed up the fall of the regime because it will give a big boost to the morale of rebels and there will be a command to follow-up on operations.”

“There are liberated areas now and it’s better for the command to be with the rebels instead of being abroad,” al-Sheikh said in a phone interview from Turkey. The general said he has been going back and forth to Syria.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
NYC Artist Creates Wearable Armor Sculpture Jails Struggle With Role As Makeshift Asylums Argentina Fans Sad but Proud in Loss One Dead, 19 Injured in Greyhound Bus Crash Lightning Kills Two in National Park in Colorado Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Bull Run Comes to Middle America LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Tiny Texas Border Town Weathers Migrant Influx Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Raw: Kerry Meets With President Karzai Overseas Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande
Latest World News
Raw: Thousands Celebrate World Cup Win in Berlin Today in History for July 14th Raw: Violence Mars Argentina's WC Celebration Germany Wins the World Cup 1-0 Raw: German Players Head to World Cup Final Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip Raw: Fans Ready for Final World Cup Match Argentina Playing Germany for World Cup Title Malala Meets 'Bring Back Our Girls' Activists Today in History for July 13th LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Raw: Wounded Rushed to Hospital in Gaza City Netherlands Beats Host Brazil 3-0 to Finish 3rd Raw: Brazil Fans Arrive for Third Place WC Match Raw: Sirens Blare Over Jerusalem Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets UN Calls for Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire Israel Widens Attack As Gaza Death Toll Rises Raw: Militants, Israelis Exchange Rocket Fire Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City
Photos of the Week