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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid