Foreign-backed Syrian opposition picks new head

Foreign-backed Syrian opposition picks new head
Wed Jul 9, 2014 16:30:12

Syria’s foreign-backed opposition group the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has elected a new head following a three-day meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

On Wednesday, the SNC declared Hadi al-Bahra as the group’s new head.

SNC members started the meeting in the Turkish city on Sunday. Bahra and Muwaffaq Nairabiyeh were the candidates for the post.

Bahra replaced Ahmad al-Jarba, who headed the foreign-backed opposition for two six-month terms. Jarba was first picked as the head of the foreign-backed group in July 2013 and was re-elected in January to lead the group for his second six-month term, which is the maximum period permitted by the group.

According to reports, like Jarba, the new head of the foreign-backed opposition group has close ties to and has lived in Saudi Arabia.

The foreign-backed group had earlier said in a statement that it will also elect three vice presidents, a secretary general and a political committee. The statement also said that the coalition would discuss the changes in Syria and the region, particularly the offensive led by Takfiri ISIL militants.

ISIL militants have forced over 150,000 residents in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour to leave their homes. Reports said the large displacement has left thousands sleeping in the open, facing food and water shortages.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. According to reports, the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are giving financial and military support to the militants.

HH/HH

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