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Syrian rebels choose Saudi-backed leader

The Washington Post

The Syrian opposition chose a new leader Saturday in the hope of ending months of feuding that has eroded most of the little support it once had among Syrians who back the uprising.

Ahmad al-Jarba, a little-known tribal leader from the eastern province of Hasakah, was elected to head the Syrian Opposition Coalition by 55 members of the 114-member council at a gathering in Istanbul, according to a statement from the group.

Al-Jarba, who was backed by Saudi Arabia, defeated Mustafa Sabbagh, a candidate favored by Qatar, in a further indication that Qatar’s once-dominant influence over the mostly exiled figures who make up the political opposition is waning.