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Originally published Friday, December 7, 2012 at 4:02 AM

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Syrian rebels create new unified military command

A senior official with the rebel Free Syrian Army says commanders from all over the country have elected a new Supreme Military Council and a chief of staff.

Associated Press

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BEIRUT —

A senior official with the rebel Free Syrian Army says commanders from all over the country have elected a new Supreme Military Council and a chief of staff.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the meeting's outcome, says the move is similar to last month's conference in Qatar that unified political groups.

He says the meetings in the Turkish resort of Antalya began on Dec. 5 and are being attended by more than 550 rebel commanders and representatives. The official said Saturday that Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss was named as the group's chief of staff.

The Syrian rebels' fight to oust President Bashar Assad has long been hobbled by their inability to forge a united front and command structure.

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