Syrian opposition elects Saudi-backed leader

Washington, July 7 (ANI): The Syrian opposition has selected a new leader in the hope of ending months of chaos in Syria

Ahmad al-Jarba was elected to head the Syrian Opposition Coalition by 55 members of the 114-member council at a gathering in Istanbul.

According to the Washington Post, Jarba, who was backed by Saudi Arabia, defeated a candidate favored by Qatar, Mustafa Sabbagh.

Jarba belongs to the large al-Shammar tribe, whose members extend into Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and he is related by marriage to one of Saudi King Abdullah's wives, the report said.

A powerful Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Farouk Tayfur, was among three vice presidents also chosen.

The vote coincided with an intensification of the fighting in Homs, where forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad managed to advance into the rebel stronghold of Khaldiyeh a week after launching an offensive there, the report added.(ANI)


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