(DAMASCUS, Syria) — In hopes of turning the tide against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the rebel Free Syrian Army is moving its command headquarter to “liberated areas” of the country.
The group is currently based in Turkey.
Col. Riad Assad, head of the Free Syrian Army, announced the decision over the weekend, which is intended to motivate fighters battling al-Assad’s forces, as well as show the international community that the rebels are not backing down from their mission to overthrow the regime.
Assad said that the plan now is to make a concerted push into Damascus to take full control of the capital where rebels have occupied various pockets of the city.
Despite the group’s move to Syria, there are questions about the effectiveness of the Free Syrian Army, given that the movement still has no central chain of command after 19 months of battling the government.
The movement is still comprised of various militias, each operating in different areas of the country, with fears that some have been infiltrated by foreign militants including al Qaeda.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Evan McKirdy, Tim Hume and James Masters, CNN
Mohammed Tawfeeq, Joe Sterling and Susanna Capelouto, CNN
Madison Park and Steve Almasy, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN