BEIRUT - Reuters / AP
Syrian rebel groups have chosen Brigadier Selim Idris, a former officer from President Bashar al-Assad's army who defected, to head a new unified military command dominated by Islamists, opposition sources said on Saturday.
Idris was elected by 30 military and civilian members of the joint command after talks attended by Western and Arab security officials in the Turkish city of Antalya.
He says the meetings began on Dec. 5 and are being attended by more than 550 rebel commanders and representatives. The official said Saturday that Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss was named as the group’s chief of staff.
The Syrian rebels’ fight to oust President Bashar Assad has long been hobbled by their inability to forge a united front and command structure.