The Syrian opposition’s leadership is moving to reduce the Free Syrian Army’s integrated military command into two fronts, northern and southern, as part of an effort by the Syrian National Coalition to organize military action, activate opposition institutions and re-represent active factions on the ground.
The step comes following initial talks between Syrian opposition leaders a day after Coalition President Khaled Khoja dissolved the Supreme Military Council.
Member of the dissolved Military Council, Abu Ahmed al-Asimi, told Asharq al-Awsat that the decision will help in "the development of the military action", pointing out: "the available solution to re-activate the council and give it an important role relies on the formation of a new military council".
Limiting the fronts – from five currently to two – is the most prominent feature of the development plan, given that many factions that were represented in the previous council are no longer active on the ground – such as the dissolved Hazm Movement and the Syria Revolutionaries Front. Moreover, a number of factions merged, while some inactive factions – such as the Eastern Front – are no longer present in their designated areas.
Asimi explained that according to the new division, military action will be focusing on the southern and northern fronts.
Sources close to the new council claim it will include new factions that were not represented in the past, such as Ahrar ash-Sham, "which is one of the most effective factions in the north", Asimi said.
Opposition figures also said they believe that most of the seven factions of al-Jabha ash-Shamiyah will be represented in the new council, as well as the factions of Jaish al-Fateh. Al-Nusra Front will not be included in the council, as it continues to maintain its relationship with Al-Qaida.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer