Syrian opposition to expand and reform

Syrian opposition to expand and reform

Syrian opposition to expand and reform

A grab from a handout video made available by Shaam News network (SNN) on 02 September 2012, state to show a tank making his way into the traffic, in the city of Hama, Syria. EPA photo

The main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has agreed to expand to include more groups opposing President Bashar al-Assad and will reform to be more representative, a spokesman told Agence France-Presse yesterday.

At a meeting in Stockholm late Sept. 1, the SNC agreed to expand its membership and to hold a vote later this month to elect its leadership, spokesman George Sabra said. The move follows criticism from both within and outside the group that it is failing to unite the diverse opposition forces working against al-Assad.

“New currents of the opposition will join the SNC. There will be at least five or six new groups from inside and outside Syria” joining the organization, Sabra said. The group’s general assembly will grow from 300 to 400 members and each opposition group will be represented by 20 members, Sabra said.
 The mandate of current SNC leader Abdel Basset Sayda, which was due to expire on Sept. 9, has been extended and he will stay on until a vote is held in late September, Sabra said.

Maher dead: Report

Meanwhile, the Syrian president’s brother, Maher al-Assad, has been buried in Latakia, daily Yeni Şafak has reported. It has been claimed that Maher lost a leg during an explosion when the regime’s Security Cabinet was attacked in July. Last month media reports claimed that a high-ranking Syrian military official had died in a Moscow hospital. The daily said Maher had received a treatment in Russia and died in Latakia. He was then buried in a secret funeral service in the Kardaha district of Latakia.