File - Gen. Salim Idris, who defected from the Syrian army in July, speaks during an interview in Antakya, Turkey, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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Ahmad Jarba, the head of the coalition, has been presiding over a series of meetings in Istanbul in recent days to resolve the issue, which arose last month when Gen. Salim Idriss and a number of FSA commanders rejected Idriss' ouster by the FSA's Supreme Military Council.An observer of the FSA and other rebel groups told The Daily Star that Idriss is seen as enjoying close ties with Qatar, meaning that the latest moves could be interpreted as allowing Saudi Arabia, which backs Jarba, to succeed in its drive to remove Idriss from the top rebel post.When Idriss originally rejected his ouster, he was joined by two leading FSA figures from the southern province of Deraa, Col. Ahmad Naameh and Bashar Zoubi.The importance of southern Syria for the FSA was also apparent in the fact that while other parts of the country had a single representative in the Istanbul meetings, Deraa had three – Naameh as the Deraa Military Council head, Zoubi as the "revolutionary leader" of the southern front, and Gen. Ziad al-Fahd as the southern front's military commander.
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