Libyan, Tunisian Leaders Oppose Arming Syrian Rebels

Recent Regime-Change Nations Not Recognizing Rebel Umbrella Group

Libyan interim President Mohammed al-Megarif and Tunisia President Moncef Marzouki today announced at a joint press conference that they are withholding recognition to the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (CORF), a move that will have major impact as both leaders are the product of regime changes the CORF are hoping to reproduce.

Megarif said the two are opposed to foreign intervention in Syria and opposed to providing foreign weaponry to rebel factions, adding that they aren’t at all clear how representative the self-proclaimed rebel leaders actually are.

The comments from Megarif are particularly surprising because his government has been bankrolling the Syrian National Council (SNC), one of the other would-be rebel leadership groups, providing more than half of their operating budget.

The big difference appears to be that the SNC did not have any role in fighting, while CORF is trying to organize themselves as a combat leader, and a distributor of foreign arms. Megarif did reiterate calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign, but seemed uncomfortable with Western ambitions to repeat the Libyan war in Syria.

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.