Syrian rebels have announced that they have agreed on an interim prime minister for their “government in exile,” which is based in Istanbul, Turkey. Ghassan Hitto, an American, will serve in that role.
Hitto was born in Syria but has spent much of his adult life in metro Dallas, working as the Director of Operations for a small telecom company called Integrated Telecom Solutions. He also was the president of the Dallas chapter of the Syrian American Council (SAC).
The SAC got its start as a “media outreach” group, but since the 2011 Syrian Civil War began they have spent much of their time lobbying for the US to arm rebel fighters in Syria and potentially to get directly involved in the war.
Hitto won a solid majority of the votes cast, beating out Canadian Osama Kadi and Dubai real estate agent Walid al-Zoabi. Ahead of the vote, the group announced that it will never negotiate a settlement with the Syrian government, insisting that only a military victory or a government surrender was acceptable.