Open declaration of war? US recognizes Syrian opposition body

US President Barack Obama has recognized the main Syrian opposition group as “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. This brings the US in line with its allies, including Britain, France and several Arab states.

“We’ve made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime,” Obama said in an interview with ABC.

The recognition marks a major boost for the Syrian rebels seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” Obama said in the interview on Tuesday. “To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.” government.

Russia is “surprised” by the US move, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on Wednesday. He said that Washington is apparently betting on a military victory for the Syrian rebels, which goes against the Geneva agreement – the international roadmap for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The recognition of the coalition by the US is likely to indemnify the hostilities in Syria, believes Conn Hallinan, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy in Focus.

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