Syrian opposition coalition elects new leader

Syrian opposition coalition elects Salem al-Muslet as new leader
2 min read
13 July, 2021
The Syrian National Coalition opposition group has elected Salem al-Muslet, a tribal sheikh from northeastern Syria, as its new leader to succeed Nasr Hariri.
Muslet, who is from Hasakah Province in northeastern Syria, is a founding member of the Syrian National Coalition [Getty]

Syria's main national opposition coalition elected a new president to succeed outgoing leader Nasr Hariri on Monday as well as a new political committee.

The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces chose Salem al-Muslet as its new president following elections held at a meeting of its general assembly in Istanbul, while Haitham Rahma became the coalition's new General Secretary.

Ruba Habboush and Abdel Ahed Asteipho were elected as the coalition's vice presidents and a 19-member political committee was also chosen.

Muslet, who is from Hasakah Province in northeastern Syria, is a founding member of the Syrian National Coalition and also the leader of the Syrian Council of Tribes and Clans. He is a sheikh of the Jabbour tribe, which has members in Syria and Iraq and was previously the official spokesman of the Syrian opposition's Higher Negotiating Committee (HNC).

The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, also known as the Etilaf was formed in 2012 as an umbrella organisation representing a large number of Syrian political opposition groups opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

It has been backed by Turkey and Qatar.

In 2013, it formed the Syrian Interim Government to administer territories held by opposition forces in Syria.

However, its influence on the ground in Syria is limited and it has little control over armed opposition groups in the country.

The Islamist extremist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which dominates most of opposition-held Idlib province in northwestern Syria, does not recognise its authority and has formed its own 'National Salvation Government' to rival the Syrian Interim Government.