These questions have no easy answer, but a cursory look at the individuals that make up the Syrian opposition coalition, formally known as the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and informally as the Syrian National Coalition, gives some reasons to hope, as well as some cause for concern. Founded in Doha, Qatar in November of 2012, the Syrian National Coalition was the brainchild of longtime Syrian dissident Riad Seif, who was elected co-vice president along with Suheir Atassi, a secular feminist. Former “moderate” Sunni imam Moaz al-Khatib was elected president.
In the short month since its creation the Syrian national Coalition has received praise, criticism, cooperation, condemnation, and skepticism. Whether it is operating in good faith and is up to the task of justly and competently governing post-Assad Syria during the transitional phase remains to be seen. In any case the international community must remain steadfast in efforts to prevent further mass atrocities in accordance with the United Nations’ responsibility to protect initiative as asserted in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, paragraphs 138 and 139 and in UN Security Council Resolution 1674 and in its support for a free, democratic, secular, pluralist Syria under which all Syrians will be afforded equal protect before the law in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.