Syria's Western-backed opposition elects new leader

Syria's Western-backed opposition elects new leader

PanARMENIAN.Net - Syria's Western-backed opposition National Coalition elected Hadi al-Bahra, chief negotiator at the Geneva peace talks, as its new president following a three-day meeting in Istanbul, the coalition said on Wednesday, July 9, according to Reuters.

Bahra, a U.S-trained industrial engineer, will replace Ahmad Jarba, who has served the maximum two six-month terms. Like Jarba, Bahra has close ties to Saudi Arabia and has lived there.

"Hadi al-Bahra wins coalition presidency by 62 votes," a post on the Coalition's Facebook page said on Wednesday.

While designated as the main body representing the opposition by the United States and other key powers, the National Coalition has little power inside Syria where disparate militant groups outside its control hold ground.

Infighting within the opposition coalition has also undermined rebel efforts to take on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, playing into the hands of rival, more hardline Islamist outfits that include foreign militants.

U.S.- and Russian-sponsored talks to end the three-year-old civil war stalled after two rounds in January and February, when the coalition and Assad's representatives failed to make substantive progress.

Photo: Reuters/Mike Theiler
 Top stories
The political leader of Iraq's Kurds earlier appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu visited the town of Soma, which in May was the scene of Turkey's worst ever mining disaster.
The embassy staff were evacuated to neighboring Tunisia "due to the ongoing violence, the U.S. State Department said.
Another 10,000 fled Mosul after ISIS took control at the beginning of June and numbers dropped have fallen rapidly since.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.