The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, announced Saturday the formation of a military council grouping all rebel chiefs.

The council “is a step towards guaranteeing the unity of the troops and armed forces (of the opposition) on Syrian territory,” Colonel Asaad told Agence France Presse by telephone from Turkey.

Asaad stressed that the new council “declines responsibility for any action taken by other organizations” and called on all armed forces in Syria to join the new military body.

“Today a pact was signed in Turkey… officially announcing that the Higher Military Council (of General Al-Sheikh) is merging with the Free Syrian Army of Riad Asaad,” a FSA statement said.

“General Mustafa al-Sheikh has been appointed as the chairman of the council,” the statement added.

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