Syrian President Fires Special Forces Chief

<i> Associated Press</i>

President Hafez Assad of Syria has removed the powerful commander of his army’s special forces, sources said Wednesday, possibly as part of a campaign to clean up Syria’s image in the West.

Some said Brig. Gen. Ali Haidar, who commanded the unit for more than a decade, has been placed under house arrest. Others said his whereabouts are unknown.

One source said Assad is trying to purge the military of officers who might not be amenable to a peace agreement with Israel.