Syrian opposition plunges into disarray
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
Syria's opposition hit a wall on Sunday as its president quit and its military chief refused to recognize the newly elected prime minister of an interim government for rebel-held areas.
The problems reflect deep divides in the body the United States and its allies hope will advance the fight to topple President Bashar Assad's regime.
The missteps of the opposition's mostly exiled political leadership drew little notice inside Syria, where rebel fighters dismissed it as ineffective and pushed ahead with their offensive to gain ground near the country's southern border with Jordan. Nearby, the Israeli military in the Golan Heights responded to fire by shooting back at targets inside Syria.
The first blow to the opposition Syrian National Coalition was the surprise resignation of its president, who said he was quitting because of frustration over what he called lack of international support and constraints imposed by the body.
Mouaz al-Khatib, who rose to prominence as a preacher in Damascus' most famous mosque, said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that he was making good on an earlier vow to quit if undefined “red lines” were crossed. He blamed world powers for not offering Syria's rebels the support they demand, and he complained that “international and regional parties” tried to push the coalition toward negotiations with the Assad regime — something most members refuse.
Despite electing a U.S.-educated prime minister last week to head a planned interim government, the coalition has failed to make much of a mark inside Syria, where hundreds of independent rebel brigades are fighting a civil war against Assad's forces.
Reflecting the growing dissension over that move, the head of the coalition's military branch, Gen. Salim Idris, said his group refused to recognize the prime minister, a little-known IT professional from Texas, because he lacked broad support among the opposition.
An aide to Idris, Louay Almokdad, said many prominent Syrian opposition figures opposed the election of Ghassan Hitto, who received 35 out of 48 votes cast by the coalition's 63 active members.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Malaysian military says missing jet changed course
- Investigation into missing Malaysia flight centers on 2 men who boarded with stolen passports
- Ukraine control of bases erodes
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
- Taliban threatens to disrupt presidential election in Afghanistan
- Autopsy details sicken Pistorius
- Ukraine control of bases erodes
- Guardsmen in Caracas block food-shortage protest march
- Crimean vote called illegal
- Putin: Russia has right to use force in Ukraine
- ‘Chavistas’ mark year since leader’s death