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Ahmad al-Jarba: 'Al-Assad will not win'

The new president of the Syrian National Coalition says the opposition will eventually defeat the Syrian government.

Last Modified: 03 Aug 2013 12:05
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As the chaos in Syria continues, so does this question continue to linger: Who stands ready to take over if Bashar al-Assad falls? And what kind of nation would then be built?

This is difficult to answer, especially as there was - for so long - a lack of unity among the opposition and its fighting forces.

The rules of the game have changed. The situation now on the ground is not as bad as you'd expect. Twenty days ago it was worse, and in two weeks things will change. In our favour is the Syrian revolution. We are now with our brothers in the Free Syrian Army and the leadership has a strategic plan to regain things, restore things, a victory on the ground.

Ahmad al-Jarba, the head of the SNC

In what many hoped would be a breakthrough, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) was established in November last year. Its new president, Moaz al-Khatib, was swiftly appointed with strong support from leading nations in the Gulf and diplomatic recognition from many other countries.

But now, al-Khatib is gone.

He resigned after complaining of interference from outside countries, including those who first backed him. And then the prime minister in waiting, Ghassan Hitto, also left his post last month.

Taking over the running of the SNC, at least publicly, is Ahmad Oweinan al-Jarba,a man with strong political relations in the region, who also spent time in a Damascus jail after the war against al-Assad took hold.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he denied that he is 'Saudi Arabia's man', saying he has good personal relations with many countries in the region.

Jarba said members of the Syrian regime who did not have "blood on their hands" might be acceptable for possible inclusion in a transitional government.

He also said Syria is under "foreign invasion" and is currently a "battlefield open to all,".

But he added that "the rules of the game have changed" and al-Assad "will not win".

"Every battle has a solution," he said. "We are in the middle of a terrible catastrophe. There is a foreign invasion in our country. We are resisting it for the sake of our freedom, our dignity. The political solution will eventually come. But a political solution that can accomplish the goal of the revolution: eliminating this regime and those criminals who killed the Syrian people."

But who is Ahmad al-Jarba? What does he want? And what are the chances he and the rest of the opposition will defeat their enemy?

The new president of the Syrian National Coalition talks to Al Jazeera about the future of his country.

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430.  

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Al Jazeera
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