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WASHINGTON – There are indications a Muslim Brotherhood-backed Syrian-American, Ghasam Hitto, picked by some Syrian rebels to be their interim prime minister, may not be acceptable to the main Free Syrian Army, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
That group now is conducting warfare against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This split within the Syrian opposition coalition will make it even more difficult for such countries as the United States and European allies to have a united front against the al-Assad regime.
FSA chief of staff Selim Idriss let it be known that “the Free Syrian Army, in all its groups and revolutionary entities, conditions its support and cooperation with a prime minister on consensus” among the opposition.
“We in the free Syrian Army do not recognize Ghassan Hitto as prime minister because the main opposition National Coalition did not reach a consensus,” according to FSA political and media coordinator Louay Muqdad.
According to WND sources, Hitto was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood in his selection that also had the support of the United States.
Hitto and his family apparently left Syria at a time when the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was kicked out of Syria. It always has had a link to Osama bin Laden and later al-Qaida.
Indicative of this relationship, it was Syrian Muslim Brotherhood members who were in exile in Hamburg, Germany, who had close ties to Sunni militants who were to become the hijackers of aircraft in the United States to commit the worst terrorist act on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nevertheless, congressional staffers have indicated that Hitto had the backing of Secretary of State John Kerry and had been briefed by CIA in preparation for being interim prime minister, a determination that also was opposed by Russia and even elements in the U.S. who supported a transitional government to be worked out with the al-Assad regime.
Hitto, a naturalized American citizen, won an election in Istanbul where the opposition is headquartered after 35 of 49 coalition members voted for him.
However, several key members of the coalition, including Walid al-Bunni, its spokesman, boycotted the meeting. Another 12 top coalition members suspended their membership with the opposition after Hitto was elected, saying the election result was illegitimate.
An indication of the difficulty for the U.S. to establish a united Syrian opposition became even more apparent after Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, leader of Syria’s opposition National Coalition, resigned to protest against “institutional limitations” being imposed on the foreign-backed group.
In a resignation announcement, al-Khatib referred to restrictions imposed on him and the inability to work “with a freedom that cannot possibly be had in an official institution.”
His resignation came after Hitto was selected the opposition’s interim prime minister.
The “institutional limitations” referred to, according to sources, were the international community’s reluctance to help Syria’s opposition due to fear of terrorism.
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