Interim Govt. Appoints Army Defectors to Head Newly-Formed Defense Ministry

Prominent rebel commanders Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi and Hassan Hamada will serve as deputies of the new unified 'national army', Zaman al-Wasl writes

Syrian Interim Government has appointed the prominent Free Syrian Army commanders Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi and Hassan Merei al-Hamada as Defense Ministry deputies, according to a statement issued on Monday.

Another 12 colonels were also appointed to the newly-formed Joint Chiefs of Staff and will represent most of the rebel-held areas in Syria.

Two weeks ago, more than 44 rebel factions, including the prominent Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham and Turkish-backed rebels, agreed to name interim government Prime Minister Jawad Abu Hatab as acting Defense Minister of a new 'national army' amid efforts to unify the fractured opposition movement.

The interim government said the unified structure would "bring the downfall of the criminal regime."

Since Syria's uprising broke out in March 2011, its various rebel components have tried and failed several times to form a lasting, unified front against President Bashar al-Assad.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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