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Syria's Fragmented Opposition

The lack of unifying leadership among Syria's opposition has limited its effectiveness, writes Jean-Loup Samaan.
Syria's provisional prime minister Ghasssan Hitto (R) talks to Syrian National Coalition (SNC) President Mouaz al-Khatib after a news conference in Istanbul March 19, 2013. Syrian opposition leaders chose Western-educated technocrat Hitto as provisional prime minister in what they hope will be the first step to fill a power vacuum arising from a two-year-long revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3F6U4

Despite its recognition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people at the March Arab League summit in Doha, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has been torn by numerous crises that put into question its very credibility.

In particular, Moaz al-Khatib, the president of the SNC declared only a few days before the summit that due to disagreements within the coalition and with international partners, he would resign. Khatib eventually decided to remain until the end of his mandate, in May, to prevent a sudden leadership vacuum. This episode, however, reflects an ongoing trend in the difficult buildup of the Syrian opposition.

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