Syrian rebel commander in Aleppo announces resignation

TEHRAN (FNA)- A leading commander of the western-backed militant group in Syria announced his resignation following infighting and deepening rifts among armed rebels.

Abdel-Jabbar Ukaidi, the head of the so-called Free Syrian Army branch in Aleppo, had harsh words for the international community and the Syrian opposition-in-exile for failing to offer sufficient support for the war against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Al-Alam reported. Ukaidi accused the international community of having been “conspiring against the people and the uprising,” and had even more scathing words for the political opposition based outside the country, as he offered sarcastic congratulations “for your hotels and your political posts.”

“You hardly represent yourselves,” Ukaidi said, adding that politicians were more interested in carrying out foreign agendas rather than seeing to the needs of the Syrian people.

Ukaidi has been one of the most prominent FSA commanders based inside Syria, leading deadly militant assaults in Aleppo and, most notably, showing up in Qusayr earlier this summer in a failed bid to occupy the strategic border town.

Ukaidi’s resignation comes as the opposition announced on Sunday that they will not participate in long-awaited talks based in Geneva unless a date is set for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resignation.

Ukaidi also blamed a number of militant leaders for in-fighting and focusing on seizing power in rebel-held areas rather than focusing on the drive to topple the government, but did not single out particular rebel groups by name.

Ukaidi said he took the decision to resign because of the lack of responses to the latest flurry of pleas for inter-rebel unity, “which has led to retreats on various battlefronts, the last one being (the town of) Safira,” Southeast of Aleppo.

The opposition which has shown signs of deep divisions in the past months is facing with great rivalry power struggles that have left the group unable to adopt a unique stance over major issues.

Tens of militants groups, many of them linked to Al-Qaeda, had already rejected the Geneva talks and announced that participating in negotiations was an act of treason.

Opposition’s alliance to Al-Qaeda-linked groups and their reluctance to cooperate for ending the crisis has caused many of their supporters to side with the government.

The crisis in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.

By Fars News Agency


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