Foreign-backed Syrian opposition-assigned ‘prime minister’ resigns

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A foreign-backed Syrian opposition figure, Ghassan Hitto, who had been proclaimed by the divided Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as “prime minister” and tasked to form an “interim government,” has resigned.

On Monday, Hitto announced his resignation in a statement only four months after his appointment, citing his inability to form the “interim government,” amid the escalating divisions and the infighting within the SNC.

The foreign-backed opposition formed the SNC back in November 2012 with Moaz al-Khatib as its head.

Khatib also announced his resignation a few months after his appointment.

George Sabra became acting president of the SNC in April 2013, shortly after Khatib had resigned.

On Saturday, the SNC elected a Saudi-linked member, Ahmad Assi Jarba, as its new president during its latest meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Jarba received 55 votes, defeating Mustafa al-Sabbagh, Qatar’s point man in the opposition, in the second round of the election at the group’s meeting in Istanbul, where the foreign-backed Syrian opposition group is based.

Jarba is a tribal figure from the eastern Hasaka Province with connections to Saudi Arabia, which has been supporting the militants in Syria.

The divisions within the foreign-backed opposition comes as the Syrian army has been gaining further ground against the militants. Syrian forces drove out militants from Ghouta, Zamalka and Irbin neighborhoods, inflicting heavy losses on the armed groups.

On July 6, Syrian army restored security to the industrial area of al-Qaboun, east of the capital. The army also retook control of the northwestern part of the Sayyida Zeinab camp near Damascus.

The foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria has taken its toll on the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, since March 2011.

In an interview with Syrian daily Al-Thawra published on July 4, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the opposition and their foreign supporters have “exhausted all their tools” in a conspiracy against Syria.

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