- 1st-Hand: Commander on “Illegitimate” Removal of Opposition’s Military Head Idriss
- Document: Supreme Military Council’s Rejection of Dismissal of General Idriss
- Q&A With Chechen Jihadis From Jabhat al-Nusra “We Are Al Qa’eda”
Breaking from the politicians of the Syrian National Coalition, senior officers of the opposition’s Joint Military Command have rejected the dismissal of its commander, General Salim Idriss (pictured).
Flanked by senior officers on Wednesday, General Salim Idriss read out a statement, signed by 16 commanders, which condemned the Cpalition’s “improvised”, “unlawful”, and “illegitimate” decision.
Led by Coalition head Ahmed Jarba and Defence Minister Asaad Mustafa, the Supreme Military Council named Abdel Ilah al-Bashir, the commander of the Quneitra Front in southern Syria, as the new head of the SMC on Sunday. The measure followed a visit by Jarba to northwest Syria, where he met Jamaal Ma’arouf, the head of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front.
The 16 commanders responded on Wednesday with a call from support from “all military and revolutionary forces”: “General Salim Idriss has been tasked to carry out a comprehensive restructuring initiative of the Supreme Military Council, including the moderate military and revolutionary forces on the ground in order to invest in all available human resources accordingly.”
Idriss’s critics say he has been ineffective in obtaining foreign support for the insurgency.
His supporters respond that it is the Coalition’s politicians, far from the battlefield in Syria, who are out of touch.
Insurgents Renew Attacks on Aleppo Central Prison
Insurgents have renewed their assault on Assad forces inside Aleppo Central Prison, including an attack with a vehicle-borne suicide bomb.
Opposition fighters briefly moved into part of the complex two weeks ago, freeing hundreds of detainees.
Operations resumed last night, destroying the main entrance to the prison and taking regime outposts.
Footage of the vehicle bomb at the end of this clip:
Claim: More than 200+ Regime Forces Killed in Qalamoun Offensive
The pro-opposition site Orient News claims that insurgents have killed more than 200 Syrian troops and their Hezbollah allies as the regime forces try to pressure the town of Yabroud, northeast of Damascus:
Video: Islamic Front Moves Refugees to New Camp After Clashes on Turkish Border
A video on the Islamic Front’s move of refugees to a new area after Turkish authorities objected to gunmen in the Bab al-Hawa camp on the border:
The Front’s attempt to move displaced persons led to clashes inside the camp, in which several people were killed.
Explosion at Turkish Border Crossing May Have Killed Dozens
A large explosion at the Bab al-Salameh crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday afternoon may have killed dozens of people.
Activists suspect the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham could be responsible for the blast, felt several kilometers away. The opposition Syrian Coalition has also accused ISIS of using violence in an attempt to control the crossing and the supplies that come through it.
Wounded are being taken to the southern Turkish city of Kilis.
The first news via Twitter:
Explosion in Bab Al Salame took place at the entrance of refugee camp in Syrian side of the border at least 4 killed pic.twitter.com/KgpvXFOp6E
— Freelance Journalist (@Fixer_Turkey) February 20, 2014
Media Activist Killed in Southern Syria
shaam News Network reports that media activist Muhammad Fawwaz Hayel Alakhras, a member of The Union of the Revolution Youth Committees in Nawa in southern Syria, has been killed while covering battles in the east of the city.
Mini-Documentary on Human Rights Activist Razan Zaitouneh, Abducted in December
A 9-minute documentary, “The Eclipsed Jasmine of Syria”, on Razan Zaitouneh, the founder of the Violations Documentation Center who was kidnapped by gunmen in early December: