March 25, 2013
By Nuha Shabaan
Former National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib, who resigned on Sunday after an ambiguous statement about “red lines” being crossed.
The head of Syria’s opposition National Coalition resigned on Sunday, saying that “red lines” had been crossed as a Free Syrian Army official announced a withdrawal of support for interim opposition Prime Minister Ghassan Hito.
The opposition appeared to be in tatters on Sunday.
FSA Col. Kasem Sad al-Deen said that Khatib quit because he refused the foreign agendas imposed on the coalition. Al-Deen told the BBC Arabic that the FSA will not back any government not accepted by the majority of the opposition. Considering the current situation, “the FSA will not provide protection for Hito,” al-Deen said, adding that the FSA has nothing to offer the transitional government.
“I once promised our great people and made an oath to God I would resign when red lines are crossed,” Moaz al-Khatib posted on his facebook page. Khatib did not elaborate on what lines were crossed, saying only that he prefers “to have the freedom that cannot be found within official institutions.”
Bassam Imadi, a former Syrian diplomat who met Khatib twice after his being elected of the coalition, told BBC Arabic on Sunday he thought the red lines were the lack of support and arms for the revolution.
In his statement, the former coalition leader hinted at dissatisfaction with the international community’s hesitation to arm the rebels, saying: “We have a bitter reality which is the attempt to tame the Syrian people and contain and control their revolution.”
Reem al-Dimasqui, 24, a housewife and volunteer activist living in Damascus, said Khatib stepped down because Arab and Western countries have let down the Syrian people. Saying the resignation has “a big impact on the street,” al-Dimashqi said that it shows “the coalition has failed.”
Khatib did his best to succeed, said Yaser Dumani, 25, a Damascus-based independent activist, but ultimately the international community used him. “He was a toy in their hands,” Dumani said.
“Every country promised him something to make a statement; he made the statements and they gave him nothing.”