Syrian National Council chooses George Sabra as new head

Syrian National Council chooses George Sabra as new head

Damascus : Syria | Nov 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM PST
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george Mitchell is to meet Assad in Syria

The Syrian National Council, the main coalition of the exiled Syrian opposition, elected a Christian and veteran activist George Sabra as its head Friday.

Sabra said his election showed that the SNC was not sectarian and he appealed for more weapons to help overthrow President Bashar al- Assad's regime.

"We need only one thing to support our right to survive and to protect ourselves: We need weapons, we need weapons from the international community," he told reporters which after his election by the SNC's executive council which met this week in Qatar.

According to AFP news, Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohammed Farooq Taifoor was elected as Sabra's deputy.

It is worth mentioning that George Sabra is a 65-year-old geography teacher from the Damascus suburb of Qatana. He was known as a fierce critic of Assad before the popular revolution against the Syrian regime began March 15, 2011.

Later, during the popular revolution, Sabra marched street demonstrations demanding Assad's regime removal before fleeing the country when the Syrian regime intelligence and security began targeting opposition leaders and activists.

A source from the opposition told Reuters in Doha that the leadership of the new council will resemble the Libyan National Transitional Council who ran the country's affairs after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi. The source added that the council will form an interim government that can control the Syrian embassies around the world. Moreover, it can take Syria's seat at the United Nations because the regime would have completely lost its legitimacy after the countries in the world recognize the opposition as the legitimate and the only representative for the Syrian people.

At the same time, international sources confirmed that the Americans and Western countries will support the Council and the Free Syrian Army will be its military wing that is fighting the regime in Syria.

In related news, a Lebanese newspaper, Ad-Diyar, has released a report Friday claiming that a secret meeting was held in Tel Aviv between Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Qatari intelligence chief Ahmed Nasser bin Jassim al-Thani, head of Israeli spy agency the Mossad Tamir Pardo and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to review plans to assassinate Assad.

The report added that Mossad chief also offered several proposals for assassination of the Syrian president.

The newspaper did not mention the source of this information. Bear in mind that this newspaper is close to Hezbollah, which is considered a permanent ally to Syria in Lebanon. Hezboallah is also attending the fight against the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian people, as Hezbollah and the Syrian regime share the same religious and ideological beliefs.

On the ground, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 26 members of the Syrian security forces, were killed in a double suicide bombing, in the town of Deraa Saturday.

The first car had driven into the air force camp and exploded, followed by the second vehicle, witnesses told Al Jazeera television.

For its part, Syrian state television is reporting that there were news of casualties among civilians and big material damage in the two places. It did not mention a military target in Deraa's double car bomb. State TV, did not provide further information about the explosions.

Moreover, in the province of Damascus, clashes between regime forces and the Free Syrian army fighters continued. It reported the arrival of military reinforcements to the outskirts of the city of Daraya, whose orchards have been the scene of violent clashes for days. A dissident officer was killed in the fighting.

On Friday, 151 people - 67 civilians, 31 Free Syrian fighters and 53 of Assad regime forces - were killed.


The Syrian crisis is getting more complicated after 20 months; it's sinking more and more in military solutions by the two parties who are fighting on the ground. Therefore, the unity of the opposition and the formation of a government in exile would not provide much to the Syrian people, who haven't got any other choice except to continue their resistance inside Syria to overthrow the regime.

I think that policy of bombings will give wonderful results in the near future, but at the same time we will see massacres by the Syrian regime against civilians in response to these bombings. Since the failure of the Eid al-Adha truce, there has been more than 30 bombings.

Darra's bombings of today, according to my information, targeted the most important base of the regime, near the Jordanian border. Thus this is an introduction to eliminate the presence of the regime and control the border with Jordan. The regime is expected to carry out a massacre during the coming hours in retaliation to bombings of Daraa, which according to the opposition, targeted a senior commander therein.

For the Syrian opposition, I feel sad about them because the international community will not be convinced to help them whatever they do. Even if they prove that they include all the Syrian people, the reason is clear that the international community, in particular the United States is not ready for a military settlement or a confrontation with Russia. In other words, Israel would not be ready to be attacked with Hezbollah missiles. I think that Syria's location being near Israel made it more fortunate than Libya.

Information from inside Syria, confirm that thousands of Syrian people flee to neighboring countries, because the regime is shelling all Syria with its warplanes. Therefore, the number of Syrian refugees to Turkey and Jordan is expected to increase. I think this does not mean anything to the international community, which is still thinking of diplomatic solutions. Israel's interest is in its forefront.


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Syrian National Council chooses George Sabra as new head
George Sabra has endured several spells in jail in Syria.Reuters
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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