The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Syria: Gulf Arabs Back New Opposition as Bombs Land in Turkey and Israel

WSJ: “The 22-member Arab League acknowledged the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the legal representative and main interlocutor for Syria’s opposition.” The Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-member group of Sunni Gulf countries, quickly followed suit.

So the new Syrian opposition council, the government in waiting, if you like, was immediately recognized by Arab countries as the true representative of the Syrian people. Expect money and arms to now flow to the rebels in greater amounts. Europe and the U.S. are slightly more cautious: France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. all have said that they “support” the rebels and are glad they have a united leadership (albeit one that hangs out in luxury hotels across the Middle East) but stopped short of formally recognizing the new coalition as the legitimate government of Syria.

Russian, Syrian, and Hezbollah officials were nonplussed, to say the least, by the new development: “Syria has more than enough weapons for fighting the rebels,” retorted Igor Korotchenko, a retired colonel in Russia’s military. ”As long as Bashar Assad has the money to pay his military, it will keep fighting.”

Hezbollah’s Hassan Nassrallah dismissed the new coalition as American puppets: “They met in Doha, locked themselves in a hotel to form a new group and did what Clinton and America wanted.”

It’s going to be a rough journey for Syrians. Via Meadia is glad the opposition leadership is united on paper but we’re skeptical how much this will actually mean on the ground. Israel and a rebel-held border town only feet from Turkey were both attacked yesterday. What happens in Syria won’t stay in Syria.

Published on November 13, 2012 9:56 am