Efforts by Syrian Rebels to gain international recognition (and with it, assistance with ousting the Bashar al-Assad regime) by projecting a unified front have gone off the rails.
The head of the opposition coalition’s Free Syrian Army says he will not recognize newly elected “Prime Minister” Ghassan Hitto, an IT executive who spent most of his life in America. The fighters say Hitto doesn’t have the support of any major opposition figure, and is backed mainly by outsiders such as Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. Many prominent rebel figures boycotted last week’s vote, complaining that Hitto was an unknown.
The rebel factions considered the “go to” group by most western powers just lost its leader. Mouaz al-Khatib stepped down as head of the Syrian National Coalition, saying the rebels aren’t getting enough support from the west, and “international and regional parties” are pushing the rebels towards peace talks with the Bashar al-Assad regime. Khatib says the government has killed too many civilians to be part of a solution to the 2-year civil war.
That leaves the provisional government with no president and a prime minister with little backing.
70 thousand people have been killed in the Syrian Civil War.