Syria’s rebellion may have just put themselves in the best possible to topple President Bashar al-Assad to date.Reuters reports that the increasingly divided and disparate rebel groups have agreed upon joint leadership in order to overthrow Assad.
“The agreement has been reached, they only need to sign it now,” according to one rebel source.
If true (the rebels do have a history of publishing false reports), the alliance is a huge milestone for the opposition. For months, the international community backing the rebels have urged them and overlook the myriad of political and religious beliefs they hold in order to concentrate on overthrowing Assad.
In July, the Financial Times published an article entitled “Rebel forces must unite for Syria’s sake,” in which it claimed:
The Syrian insurgents are becoming an effective force, setting up councils in various provinces and co-ordinating with political activists on the ground. But there are also rivalries and friction among them, especially as some of the more radical groups are said to receive more regular funding.
FT also cited the US-based Institute for the Study of War, which added: “If these disparate sources of support do not become organised more responsibly, they may help defeat Assad but destroy Syria in the process.”
The rivalries between the various rebel groups have significantly stymied the fight against the current regime. In September a senior member of the Syrian opposition who lives in Europe told Haaretz in September that “the rivalry between the array of anti-Assad groups is preventing the opposition from bringing about the president’s fall more quickly.”
By coming together, the rebels may be able to pool what resources they have left and inspire much of the international community that has lost faith in the opposition.
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