The rebel Free Syrian Army, which claimed on Wednesday a bold raid against security forces, boasts thousands of soldiers who defected from the army to join the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
The group has claimed responsibility for several deadly operations against Assad’s forces, particularly in the northwestern province of Idlib, near Turkey, the central city of Homs and Daraa province in the south. In late August, the Free Syrian Army merged with the Free Officers Brigade, which was established by Colonel Hussein Harmush, and now counts some 17,000 troops, Captain Hassan told AFP, asking that his last name be withheld. Colonel Harmush was the first army officer to announce his defection in protest over the army’s bloodshed, siding with protesters in early June.
The Free Syrian Army announced on Wednesday the creation of a temporary military council with the aim of ousting Assad’s regime and protecting civilians from his forces. “Based on the requirements of this phase and the demands of the Syrian revolution, the Free Syrian Army is establishing a temporary military council,” a statement said.
“Based on the requirements of this phase and the demands of the Syrian revolution, the Free Syrian Army is establishing a temporary military council,” a statement said. To that end, the council will organise, arm and train the Free Syrian Army, making its decisions by a two-thirds majority. The council also aims to set up a police force and a military court to try members of the regime implicated in the murder of civilians, attacks against the population or the sabotage of private and public property.