First Published: 2012-08-29


Cracks emerge in main Syria opposition coalition


Syrian dissident Bassma Qodmani resigns from main opposition coalition after accusing it of failing to protect Syrians.


Middle East Online

She will devote her time to contributing to the humanitarian effort for the Syrian people

BEIRUT - A prominent France-based Syrian dissident resigned on Tuesday from the embattled country's main opposition coalition, accusing it of failing to protect the population against "horrific massacres."

"The project did not achieve its objectives, it did not earn the necessary credibility, nor did it maintain the level of confidence that it sought from the Syrian people when it was set up," the Syrian National Council's foreign relations head Bassma Qodmani said in a statement.

Founding SNC member and member of its executive committee, Qodmani pledged she would continue to work from outside the coalition.

"I will devote my time to contributing to the humanitarian effort for the Syrian people, and I will return to my profession as a researcher," Qodmani said by telephone.

"It is not the time to talk about differences, but of course there are disagreements with some members of the council," she said, accusing the council of "playing a very individualistic role."

"The SNC does not work well with other opposition groups," Qodmani added.

The SNC was established a year ago as a coalition of dissidents from across the political spectrum, bringing together independent activists as well as the broad-based Muslim Brotherhood, exiled from Syria since a massive crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's father Hafez in the 1980s.

Unlike many other opposition groups, the SNC has strong ties with the rebel Free Syrian Army and with several Western governments. It calls for the fall of Assad and has frequently sought international intervention in the Syrian crisis, though the UN Security Council has remained deadlocked in this regard.

The SNC has members both abroad and inside Syria, though most of its non-exiled militants work anonymously.


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