|Head of the Free Syrian Army Higher Military Council|
March 2012 – December 2012
as Chairman of the Syrian National Council
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Allegiance||Syrian National Council|
|Service/branch||Free Syrian Army|
|Years of service||2012|
|Battles/wars||Syrian civil war|
Mustafa Al-Sheikh (Arabic: مصطفى أحمد الشيخ) was the head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) military council until December 2012. He was a general in the Syrian Army prior to his defection during the Syrian civil war.
Al-Sheikh said he battled with his conscience before defecting, mindful of his 37 years' service and of possible retribution against his extended family. He said the final straw had been a sexual assault by soldiers who took turns raping a young bride in a village near Hama.
Al-Sheikh had declared: "We want very urgent intervention, outside of the security council due to the Russian veto. We want a coalition similar to what happened in Kosovo and the Ivory Coast." On May 26, 2012, al-Sheikh said government opponents had lost all faith in the UN Security Council, on which Damascus has Russia as a powerful backer.
In November 2013 it was reported that Al-Sheikh and his son had applied for political asylum in Sweden.
- Mroue, Bassem; Suzan Fraser (2012-12-08). "Syria Rebels Create New Unified Military Command". Huffington Post/AP. Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
- Brigadier-General Mustafa al-Sheikh Defects, Al Jazeera.
- Spencer, Richard (2012-02-05). "Syria's most senior defector: Assad's army is close to collapse". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Colin Freeman; Ruth Sherlock (26 May 2012). "United Nations ceasefire in tatters after 92 killed in Syrian violence". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Syria's top army defector seeks asylum in Sweden". Zaman Alwasl. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
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