Syrian Rebel Bloc Not Comfortable With Obama Picking Their Leaders

'These Dictates Are Not Acceptable to the Syrian People Anymore'

The rebel Syrian National Council (SNC) has responded negatively to yesterday’s comments from Obama Administration officials for allowing so many exiles in their group’s leadership positions, and rejected the idea that the US government would begin handpicking leaders for them next week at a conference in Qatar.

“These dictates are not acceptable to the Syrian people anymore,” insisted Zuhair Salem, an exiled spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian faction, which is a significant portion of the SNC.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested yesterday that the SNC should be pushed out of the rebellion entirely, saying they “can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition” and that fighters inside the country are the real leadership.

Interestingly, though the US claimed the exiles are “extremists” threatening the rebellion, a shift toward fighters on the ground would almost certainly mean a dramatic shift in favor of sectarian fighters, who have been the main recipients of Western aid.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.