Report: Syrian ‘Rebel Commander’ Defects Back to Military

No Information About Supposed Commander of Southern Troops

Captain Khaled Abdel Rahman al-Zamel, putatively a top leader of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), has publicly defected today, announcing at a conference that he is planning to rejoin the Syrian military from which he defected in the first place.

The authenticity of the claim is unclear, as there have not been any news reports mentioning Zamel in the past, even though the reports today claimed he is the commander of the FSA’s troops in southern Syria.

One of the reports also named him as both Khaled al-Zamel and Abu al-Walid, which is odd because Syria’s FSA defectors don’t generally use pseudonyms, since they make their defections more public by using their real names.

If true the defection of an FSA commander back to the Syrian military would be significant, but since he was heretofore unknown and only brought a handful of other troops back with him, the claim that he was a significant player in the rebellion is hard to imagine.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of