Syrian rebel fighters have refused to accept a Syrian-born and naturalized American citizen as their show prime minister, destroying an American effort to put into place an organizational structure to help channeling aid to rebels in the war against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Texas resident and IT executive Ghassan Hitto narrowly won last week’s election as “prime minister” amid warnings by rebels that they do not hold enough territory in Syria to warrant an interim government.
Hitto was backed not only by Western governments but also by organizations outside of Syria, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, making him even more suspicious to opponents.
Syrian National Coalition president Mouaz al-Khatib wrote on his Facebook page Sunday, “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 blamed Western powers for failing to give enough material support to the rebels while trying to punish them into dialogue with Assad, whose army and secret service have murdered tens of thousands of men, women and children in the two-year-old rebellion.
Secretary of State John Kerry steadfastly continued U.S. foreign policy of living in its own world and insisted that the resignation only proves that there is in Syria “an opposition that is bigger than one person and that opposition will continue.”
Kerry, in case anyone forgets, visited Damascus often when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and struck up a dialogue with Assad, who in turn was termed a “reformer” by Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton two weeks after the beginning of the revolt against him.