Much of the reporting on Syria has been about politics, but it took 20 months into the revolution for anything political to be actually worthy of reporting amidst the heavily under reported genocide and mass destruction that the Assad regime unleashed upon the country and its people. About two weeks ago the US came to the conclusion that the Syrian National Council, Syria’s largest political opposition group, was no longer sufficient on its own and decided that it needed to take a step back.
The plan was for a more unified, representative and effective opposition to be formed which involved all other political opposition groups aside of the SNC as well, not to mention the Local Coordination Committees and the Free Syrian Army. The aim of this would be to establish a functioning government inside Syria, leading the transition as al-Assad falls. The politics of it all were to take place in Doha. One might wonder what point there is to revolutionary politics without a significant grass root and military representation, or what purpose it serves without being able to carry out policies on the ground. Nevertheless, the SNC initially objected and decided to act and reform on its own instead, seeking to include more opposition groups and electing George Sabra as their new head.
Apparently, this was not enough and an effort lead by senior opposition figure Riad Seif eventually brought the SNC to agree on a new opposition coalition of 60 seats of which they would get 22. The rest is reserved for other opposition groups such as that of Haitham Maleh [left on the photo at the top] and many others including the LCC’s. There will also be a Military Council to represent the FSA. The unified opposition is called the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary Forces and Opposition, and it is supported by Qatar, Turkey and other countries in the region. Their call: aid and weapons to overthrow the Assad regime.
As important as that is, unification and a working plan are not enough. The right people are needed and this newly formed National Council made an excellent choice in electing Shaykh Moaz al-Khatib as their president, and Riad Seif and Suhair al-Attasi were chosen as vice-presidents. These are people who have the integrity, moral leadership and experience on the ground that is required to make politics relevant again.
Following are some of the main articles and media reports:
Syrian Opposition Groups Reach Unity Deal
Syria cleric Moaz al-Khatib to lead opposition
Syria opposition coalition picks new leader
Syria’s opposition chooses president, formally signs coalition deal