What is The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces? (+video)(Read article summary)
The fractious Syrian opposition has come together to create a new unified front in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad.
Western leaders welcomed the Syrian opposition's unification into a new organization, which they hope will provide a means to bolster rebels on the ground in Syria in their fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
BBC News reports that the West hopes the new opposition body, currently called The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, will provide a conduit that will allow funding – and possibly military aid – to be funneled to the Syrian rebels on the ground who are doing the actual fighting.
"We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad's bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve," US state department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the move was an "important milestone in forming a broad and representative opposition that reflects the full diversity of the Syrian people."
The West had attempted to use the previous leading opposition group, the Syrian National Council, to a similar end, but the SNC proved too fragmented and detached from rebel forces to be successful, leading the US to publicly call for a new approach two weeks ago. The SNC will hold 22 of the new body's 60 seats.