News / Middle East

US: Recognizing Syrian Opposition Strengthens Fight Against Assad

US: Recognizing Syrian Opposition Strengthens Fight Against Assadi
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Stearns
December 14, 2012 11:48 AM
Official U.S. recognition for a coalition of Syrian opposition groups is meant to isolate extremists and increase pressure on embattled President Bashar al-Assad. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

US: Recognizing Syrian Opposition Strengthens Fight Against Assad

— Official U.S. recognition for a coalition of Syrian opposition groups is meant to isolate extremists and increase pressure on embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

With Syrian rebels gaining ground on Assad forces, the Obama administration says recognizing political opponents strengthens the fight against him.

"We have said all along that in the absence of any moves by the regime to end this, in the absence of any commitment to any kind of a transition, we are going to continue to support the opposition as we can," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Nuland says recognition helps prepare for a Syria without President Bashar al-Assad.

"It also will give us the opportunity to better direct the non-lethal assistance that we are providing so that it can get directly to political leaders on the ground in the local coordinating councils, particularly in those areas of Syria that have now been liberated from regime control," she said.

Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a comrade killed by the Syrian Army in Azaz, Syria, Dec. 13, 2012Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a comrade killed by the Syrian Army in Azaz, Syria, Dec. 13, 2012
x
Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a comrade killed by the Syrian Army in Azaz, Syria, Dec. 13, 2012
Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a comrade killed by the Syrian Army in Azaz, Syria, Dec. 13, 2012
That assistance may help local councils better coordinate with rebels. Their divisions have been exploited by Assad forces.

Washington-based analyst Malou Innocent says anti-Assad fighters increasingly appear better focused.

"Now you are sort of seeing influential leaders of these independent brigades now coming together and coalescing and working together to try and oust Assad," explained Innocent.

The coalition recognized in Morocco is more broadly representative than past efforts at unifying political opponents. But it has not agreed on a transitional government.

London-based analyst Malik Al-Abdeh says deep divisions remain between secular and Islamist opponents in the group.

"The Muslim Brotherhood seems to be in the dominant position, which I don't think is necessarily going to make them any more attractive to the West," he noted. "However, the West feels compelled now to legitimize the Syrian opposition in whatever guise it may take, simply because of the fast pace of events on the ground in Syria."

Innocent says U.S. recognition is an effort to head off extremists.

"This is an attempt to legitimize more moderate rebel forces and see a post-Assad Syria that is less entrenched in its secular and ideological fissures," she said.

Even with recognition, opposition politicians taking charge in rebel-held areas is more difficult because of the devastation of 21 months of fighting. The United Nations estimates that about two million homes are damaged and thousands of schools and businesses have been destroyed.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid