On Tuesday, the largest Syrian rebel opposition coalition group elected a U.S. educated activist as its new prime minister. Ghassan Hitto will serve as the coalition’s prime minister in the areas of land that are controlled by the rebel groups inside Syria. Hitto was born and raised in Damascus, Syria’s capital, but has lived for a number of decades in the United State and most recently was working as a technology executive.
Hitto is not known outside of the exile circles in Syria. However, he has been very active of late in the U.S. through humanitarian efforts that have served to help the rebels during their two-year civil conflict with the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The coalition’s new prime minister was named after a meeting that was held to for an election in Istanbul. The umbrella group of rebels is supported by the U.S. and other allies from the West. In the latter part of 2012, the group was formed following pressure from the U.S. and its allies to unify the many fractious groups of rebel opposition in Syria.
Some rebel groups remain in Syrian that are not part of the coalition and do not recognize its authority. The coalition is made up of predominately exiles and has attempted for a number of months to name its prime minister to take control of the areas under coalition control.
It remains unknown whether Hitto will run the areas controlled by rebels from inside Syria or if he will remain in exile and run the areas from abroad.