US President Barack Obama has recognized the main Syrian opposition group as the “legitimate representative” of Syria. This brings the US in line with its allies, including Britain, France and several Arab states.
“We’ve made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime,” Obama said in an interview with ABC.
The recognition marks a major boost for the Syrian rebels seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” Obama said in the interview on Tuesday. “To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.” government.
This comes after the US Department of State declared a key Syrian rebel group – al-Nusra Front – a terrorist organization. The move was taken despite the group’s success in fighting the Assad regime and protecting rebel strongholds.
The rebel group has been blacklisted for the alleged links it has to Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). US officials have expressed concern that al-Qaeda loyalists and radical Islamists are planning to take control of the opposition movement and influence any post-Assad government.