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Top U.S.-Backed Commander in Syria Run Out, U.S. Officials Say (and update, Dec. 12)

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Top U.S.-Backed Commander in Syria Run Out, U.S.

Officials Say

By ADAM ENTOUS in Washington and RIMA ABUSHAKRA in Beirut

WSJ, Dec. 11, 2013

Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander supported by the West, was run out of his headquarters in northern Syria over the weekend and fled to Turkey and then Doha after Islamist fighters took over facilities run by Western-backed opposition, U.S. officials saidWednesday. The U.S. is urging Gen. Idris to return to Syria, the officials said.

…The Islamists also took over key warehouses holding U.S. military gear for moderate fighters in northern Syria over the weekend…

…The turn of events was the strongest sign yet that the U.S.-allied FSA is collapsing under the pressure of Islamist domination of the rebel side of the war…

 

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Update: Dec. 12, 3:38 PM

U.S. Says Syria Rebel Commander Didn’t Flee

U.S. officials have changed their account that the top Western-backed rebel commander in Syria fled his headquarters over the weekend during a takeover by Islamist forces, saying they have since learned he was in Turkey at the time of the incursion.

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