Syrian Opposition Remains Divided as Negotiations Fail
The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) announced on Monday that negotiations to form a new ‘transitional government’ had ended without an agreement.
Opposition leaders failed to reach an agreement about the appointment of an interim Prime Minister to lead a new transitional government which would take control of rebel held areas in Syria, during a second round of talks in the Turkish capital, Istanbul. The SNC will now announce new proposals detailing how they intend to move forward within 10 days, according to today’s statement. The SNC also said in its statement that it would consult with opposition groups, rebels brigades and friendly foreign states regarding the financial and political requirements for forming a viable alternative government.
Power struggles and in-fighting between opposition political leaders mirrors increasing power struggles between rebels on the ground; see:
The failure to agree on an interim PM is seen by many as a substantial blow to the opposition. Although rebels now control large parts of Syria, the situation on the ground in rebel areas is chaotic. The lack of political control, combined with food shortages and lack of power, is threatening to turn the people against the revolution, or push then into the hands of extremists. Reports of looting by some rebel groups have emerged, and the inability to provide basic public services to Syrians living in rebel held areas is becoming one of the biggest threats to the success of the revolution.
A number of coalition members who have been most vehement in promoting the idea of a transitional government blamed Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies for standing in the way of reaching an agreement. They claimed that the Islamists stand to lose some of the substantial power that their militias have established on the ground if an official government was formed.