Rebel Syrian Council Names Christian Communist as President

Will Leftist Christian Further Alienate SNC From Islamist Rebels?

When the Obama Administration began condemning the Syrian National Council (SNC) as “extremist” and out of touch with the rebellion at large, they promised to anoint a new “leadership” for the rebellion. That hasn’t happened yet, at least not publicly, but the SNC has announced a leadership change of their own.

The exile group, which despite the US allegations was already falling out of favor with the increasingly Islamist-led rebel fighters inside Syria, has tapped George Sabra, a leftist Christian, as their new president.

Sabra got his start with the Syrian Communist Party in 1970, which has since changed its name to the Syrian Democratic People’s Party. The group joined the SNC last year, and Sabra became SNC spokesman. In addition to his political activities, he was also a writer for the Arabic language version of Sesame Street.

Though Sabra’s appointment may serve to calm Western concerns about the SNC’s affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood, it is likely to put a great deal more distance between them and the rebel fighting forces, which are made up mostly of Salafists and military defectors, neither of whom are liable to embrace him.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of