U.S. to Recognize One Syrian Rebel Group, Blacklist Another

By:  Raven Clabough
12/12/2012
       
U.S. to Recognize One Syrian Rebel Group, Blacklist Another

The Obama administration is expected to announce Wednesday the recognition of the new Syrian opposition group Syrian National Coalition in the hope that it will expedite the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The announcement is expected to come when American, European, and Arab diplomats meet in Morocco.

The Obama administration is expected to announce the recognition of the new Syrian opposition group, Syrian National Coalition, in the hope that it will expedite the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The news will reportedly come Wednesday when American, European, and Arab diplomats meet in Morocco and will coincide with the U.S. blacklisting of a powerful rebel group in the region.

The Washington Post writes, “The action is part of a fast-moving diplomacy to try to guard against chaos and collapse in Syria if rebel forces succeed in ousting or killing Assad.”

According to the Washington Post, though the United States is recognizing the Syrian National Coalition, it will not go as far as naming it as the ruler of Syria, as that would provide the group some standing to ask for international military intervention. Rather, recognizing the coalition simply means that the State Department considers it to be the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

“What we want to do is use recognition as a way to demonstrate to them that we mean it when we say they have to stay organized,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We argue to ourselves that the more we demonstrate support for them, the more they’ll collaborate.”

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) was created to replace the Syrian National Council. Syrian rebel Riad Seif declared that the Syrian National Council would not win the support of opposition leaders in Syria and therefore circulated his plan to create the Syrian National Coalition among opposition leaders. By October, the United States and European allies gave their support to the SNC. The new group was quickly recognized by France, Britain, Turkey, Spain, Italy, and the Persian Gulf Arab nations as well.

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