Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Syrian National Council could no longer be viewed as the 'visible leader of the opposition.' The group failed to attract broad support from Syrians.
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that a key opposition group could "no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition," as Washington attempts to reorganize Syria's various opposition groups into a more representative, more effective structure.
Voice of America reports that Ms. Clinton said that Syria needs a united opposition movement that includes all of the country's ethnic groups and better represents the rebel fighters on the ground opposing President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian National Council, which established its headquarters in Istanbul and is made up largely by exiles and expatriates, is no longer capable of providing the necessary leadership, she said while on an unrelated trip to the Balkans.
"We've made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition," she said. "They can be part of a larger opposition. But that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice that needs to be heard." ...
"This can not be an opposition represented by people who have many good attributes but have, in many instances, not been in Syria for 20, 30, 40 years," said Clinton. "There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom."