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Rebel Free Syrian army confirms new chief

Published on Mar 8, 2014 6:54 PM

BEIRUT (AFP) - The rebel Free Syrian Army has confirmed the appointment of its new chief, Brigadier General Abdel Ilah al-Bashir, after former head General Selim Idriss had initially refused to step down.

The FSA confirmed "the dismissal of Idriss and the appointment of... Bashir as head of the Supreme Military Council," in a statement late on Friday.

Bashir, who defected from the government army to join rebels fighting in southern Syria, had originally been appointed to head the FSA in mid-February.

But Idriss and several senior commanders in the field rejected his dismissal, with some branding it as an undemocratic "coup".

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