Routed by Islamists, Pro-US Rebel Commander Flees Syria

Gen. Idris Fled to Turkey and Now Qatar

The Obama Administration’s chosen face for the Syrian rebellion, Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Gen. Salim Idris, is out of the country and likely out of the picture today after being forced to flee in the face of growing Islamist tensions.

Idris reportedly fled to Turkey and later Qatar, with US officials saying his office has since been taken over by the Islamic Front, one of the rival rebel umbrella groups.

The Islamic Front is also said to have seized the remaining FSA warehouses, full of US military aid, across northern Syria, and this drove the Obama Administration to announce last night that it is freezing all direct aid into the country.

The FSA has long been losing ground in the north to al-Qaeda and other Islamist blocs, but the ousted of Gen. Idris suggests their waning influence may be all but gone. If true, that’s a major blow to the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), since the FSA was the only fighting force even nominally allied with them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.