Thursday, December 12, 2013

Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris fled to Qatar through Turkey, U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal

    Thursday, December 12, 2013   No comments


Salim Idris
The top Western-backed Syrian rebel commander fled the country after Islamist militant fighters ran him out of his headquarters, U.S. officials said.
Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris flew to the Qatari capital of Doha Sunday after fleeing to Turkey, the officials told the Wall Street Journal.

"He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters," a senior U.S. official said.

An Islamic Front spokesman said Idris, an East German-trained electronics professor who was a Syrian army general until he defected to the rebel side in July 2012, fled to Turkey.

The New York Times said Idris flew temporarily to Doha but was now back in Turkey, where he has a house.

The 13-month-old U.S.-backed Syrian National Coalition, which supports the FSA, is based in Doha.

The Obama administration is urging Idris to return to Syria, the U.S. officials told the Journal.

The ultraconservative Islamic Front also took over key warehouses holding lethal and non-lethal weapons intended for moderate fighters in northern Syria, the White House said.

The warehouses were controlled by the Supreme Military Council, the moderate opposition umbrella group that includes the FSA and coordinates U.S. aid distribution, the White House said.


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