Bomb Hits Damascus Hotel as Rebel Blocs Meet in Qatar

US Aims to Impose New Leaders on Syrian Rebels

Security in the Syrian capital city of Damascus took another blow today, when rebels detonated a bomb in front of a major hotel in the same district as several major military and security compounds. Activists say the attack was likely the work of the Ahfad al-Rasoul Brigade, which has regularly carried out bombing attacks.

The number of different rebel factions with different agendas has made it difficult for the regime to keep up with the attacks, but has also complicated Western efforts to pump aid into the rebellion, which has no real leadership. They are hoping to change that with a meeting which began today in Doha, Qatar.

Already major disagreements are emerging at the conference however, particularly as the Syrian National Council (SNC), one of the oldest rebel factions, is facing a battle with the Obama Administration, which last week announced its intention to handpick a new leadership of the rebel movement.

A compromise deal is being discussed that would give the SNC a portion of the leadership in a new leadership group, but it is unclear whether this new group will actually “unify” the fighting on the ground, or if it is just going to be another umbrella group set up outside the country and ignored by the combatants.

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.