Leader of Syrian opposition Mouaz al-Khatib resigns citing lack of support from international community

 

Mouaz al-Khatib, the leader of Syria’s opposition coalition, has resigned, citing a lack of support from the international community.

The respected preacher headed the Syrian National Coalition, which is seen as the most credible body among those trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

In a statement on his Facebook page, al-Khatib suggested that certain “red lines” had been crossed, saying the Syrian people had not been given the means to “defend themselves”.

“I am keeping my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition so that I can work with freedom that is not available inside the official institutions,” he said.

“All that has happened to the Syrian people – from destruction of infrastructure to the arrest of tens of thousands to the displacement of hundreds of thousands to other tragedies – is not enough for an international decision to allow the Syrian people to defend themselves.”

The Coalition was formed in November, and served as the opposition’s official means of communicating with other countries and co-ordinating the rebel forces.

But al-Khatib said many “international and regional parties” had tried to push the opposition towards dialogue with the regime when many of those fighting against Assad believe the regime is responsible for too many deaths to be part of any solution.

Some members of the Coalition have complained that Qatar – which offers substantial financial backing to the opposition – and the Muslim Brotherhood have too big a say in the body’s workings.

Al-Khatib’s spokesman confirmed the resignation in a phone call with The Associated Press.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was sorry to learn of the preacher’s resignation, but claimed that it won’t affect his country’s co-operation with the Coalition. He said the opposition is “bigger than one person and that opposition will continue”.

Prior to the Syrian National Coalition, the main umbrella organisation for the opposition was the Syrian National Council, whose former leader spoke out on hearing of al-Khatib’s announcement.

Burhan Ghalioun told Al Arabiya TV that while he and other Coalition members were surprised by the decision, world powers haven’t provided adequate aid and unnamed countries have interfered with the Coalition’s work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum