Syrian Situation Becoming Further Militarized
Syria’s opposition factions are gathering today in Turkey in an effort to unite before the “Friends of Syria” summit takes place April 2. Internal bickering has shaken the Syrian National Council (SNC), which has seen an increasing amount of defections and criticism for its opaque handling of funds. Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy claims that the Syrian opposition, due to its sectarian diversity, doesn’t “tend to congeal as easily as elsewhere where identity is more solidified.” A united opposition would alleviate fears of “the silent majority” which has so far abstained from protests due to fears of post-Assad Syria. “The silent majority will be encouraged when they see hope for a better future and when they see concrete initiatives that will rebuild Syria and establish a democratic civil state where all people re treated with dignity and live a prosperous life,” said Ausama Monajed, senior adviser to the secretary-general of the SNC.
Other groups maintain that the SNC is out of touch with the realities on the ground. The Liberal National Movement for Change, The Islamist Movement For the Fatherland, the Bloc for Liberation and Development, the Turkmen National Bloc, and the Kurdish Movement for a New Life announced on Saturday the creation of a new coalition that is to act independently of the SNC, further undermining the legitimacy of the council.
The ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting on April 2 will give the factions an opportunity to resolve their differences and unite in the face of a vicious crackdown that continues across the country. The international community has united around U.S. Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan and Nicholas Noe, co-founder of the Mideastwire, claims that Hassan Nasrallah’s support for Syrian is wavering, which may clear space at the negotiating table.