US and Western leaders have been frustrated with the fractured state of Syria’s opposition. But within hours of Obama’s reelection victory, Britain said it would deal directly with militarized rebel leaders, according to AP. Previously US and British contact was largely with rebel groups in exile, like the Syrian National Council (SNC), or political opposition members in Syria.
The main Syrian opposition group, the SNC, is in Qatar this week discussing plans for greater unity and representation in Syria, and today will elect a new leader and executive committee. The SNC “voted to broaden its appeal by including more than 200 additional members of other anti-regime groups,” the Monitor reports.
"In order to have revolutionary-scale change, you need an opposition movement that is strongly disciplined, that is organized hierarchically," Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian analyst at the National Defense University in Washington, told the Monitor. Mr. Jouejati resigned from the SNC recently because of how its growth could intensify Syria's existing challenges, he says. "But the nature of this is that the SNC – or any opposition coalition – is going to [have] different people, different views, and different ideologies."