Mustafa Al-Sheikh

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Mustafa Al-Sheikh
Head of the Free Syrian Army Higher Military Council
In office
March 2012[citation needed] – December 2012[1]
President Abdulbaset Sieda
as Chairman of the Syrian National Council
Commander Riad al-Asaad
Preceded by Office established
Personal details
Born Syria
Military service
Allegiance Syria Syrian National Council
Service/branch Free Syrian Army
Years of service 2012
Rank General
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.[1] He was a general in the Syrian Army prior to his defection during the Syrian civil war.[2]

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.[3]

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."[3] 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.[4]

In November 2013 it was reported that Al-Sheikh and his son had applied for political asylum in Sweden.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ Brigadier-General Mustafa al-Sheikh Defects, Al Jazeera.
  3. ^ a b Spencer, Richard (2012-02-05). "Syria's most senior defector: Assad's army is close to collapse". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Syria's top army defector seeks asylum in Sweden". Zaman Alwasl. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2015.