National Coalition from Syria Elects Leader

The National Coalition, the main Syrian opposition alliance, elected a new leader. The chief negotiator Hadi al-Bahra, for the coalition during the peace talks that failed in Geneva with the government of Syria, was chosen in Turkey at a coalition meeting.

Al-Bahra has close ties to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia just as his predecessor Ahmed al-Jarba did.

Thought the National Coalition is backed by Gulf Arab nations and the U.S., it has little influence over any rebels that are attempting to topple current President Bashar al-Assad.

The rebels that are dominated by the hardline jihadist and Islamic fighters reject the exiled leadership of the alliance.

One hard line organization, the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS, announced it had created a caliphate in a region it controls in eastern and northern Syria and in large areas inside Iraq.

The exiled National Coalition has warned repeatedly of ISIS’ threats calling on foreign allies to given arms to rebel forces in order to counter gains the al-Qaeda spinoff has made.

The coalition has said that the flow of arms from the Gulf States and the West to mainstream rebel groups decreased to a minimum amount.

Bahra was born in 1959 in Damascus, and lived in Saudi Arabia much of his adult life. He was in charge of several businesses and hospitals.

He granted an interview after being chosen as the new coalition leader and reaffirmed that he remained determined to reach a solution politically in the Syria conflict. The conflict has killed over 160,000 people and caused millions to flee their homes.

In Syria on the ground as many as 14 people, which included a number of women, had been executed overnight by rebels in Khatab a village in the province of Hama.

Human rights organization the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said rebels accused the residents of Khatab, a Sunni village, of helping the government.

At the same time, a recent survey shows that just one out of every three people in Syria believe that President al-Assad best represents the aspirations and interest of Syrians.

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