Syria Rebels Move Command Center from Turkey to Syriaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syrian rebels announced that their command center has been transferred from neighboring Turkey to inside Syria, in a video posted on Saturday.
"The Free Syrian Army command has moved into liberated areas of Syria following arrangements made with battalions and brigades to secure these zones," FSA chief, Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, said in the video.
The next step would be to "liberate" the capital Damascus in the near future, he added.
"Our goal is not to replace the agonizing criminal regime," he said, stressing that it would be up to the Syrian people to decide who will be their rulers after the fall of the regime.
The announcement came as the FSA is undermined by internal rivalries, particularly between the central command, which had been set up in Turkey more than a year ago and led by Asaad, and the interior command led by Colonel Qassem Saadeddine.
Another major problem plaguing the rebels is the proliferation of splinter groups which have emerged over the months of steady militarization of the conflict, with some claiming autonomy.
Several radical groups have been accused of human rights violations.
"The transfer will allow the command center to be closer to the fighters," General Mustafa al-Sheikh, head of the military council grouping rebel chiefs, told Agence France Presse.
He declined to say where the new command would be located.
On September 5, Sheikh told AFP that rebel leaders planned to overcome divisions and address the growing number of militias fighting on behalf of the FSA.
He said reforms were key to winning the support of the international community which has so far been reluctant to arm the rebels "on the grounds that the (FSA) is not a real institution."
The rebel army has thousands of fighters, among them about 3,000 officers of various ranks, including 70 generals, according to Sheikh.