The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

Obama recognises Syrian opposition as "legitimate representative"


WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the Syrian opposition was now "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, in the most significant US intervention yet in the brutal civil war.

"We have 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," Mr Obama told ABC News in an interview.

France last month became the first Western nation to formally recognise the Syrian National Coalition group as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, as it fights beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad.

Britain, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council followed suit, but the coalition did not win immediate universal backing because of doubts about whether it is genuinely representative of all sectors of Syrian society.