World powers meeting in Marrakesh recognized Syria's new opposition coalition as "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people" and called on President Bashar al-Assad to "stand aside", according to a draft declaration obtained on Wednesday.
The declaration by 130 international representatives comprising the "Friends of Syria" group of nations warned that any use by Assad's government of chemical or biological weapons would be met by a "serious response".
"Participants acknowledge the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and the umbrella organization under which the Syrian opposition are gathering," said the draft declaration obtained before the meeting of major powers, excluding Russia and China.
"Bashar al-Assad has lost legitimacy and should stand aside to allow "a sustainable political transition" process," said the text of the draft declaration obtained by Reuters.
The recognition comes a day after the America president Barack Obama announced in an interview with ABC that his government has decided to recognize the opposition as legitimate representative of the Syrians. The US at the same time placed the Jebhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) on the black list of terrorist organizations. This Front has been responsible for several car bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo in the past. It is presumably linked to Al-Qaida.
The recognition comes shortly after the opposition reorganized its military command at a meeting in Antalia, Turkey, with was also attended by Western and Arab representatives. Reuters reported that the rebel groups in doing so came firmly under the command of islamist linked groups. Brigadier Selim Idris, a former officer in President Bashar al-Assad’s army, who led the uprising by Sunnis in the city of Homs, was chosen to head the military command. Islamist commanders Abdelbasset Tawil from the northern province of Idlib and Abdelqader Saleh from the adjacent province of Aleppo were named to serve as Idris’s deputies, the source said.
The unified command includes many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Salafists, who follow a puritanical interpretation of Islam. It excludes the most senior officers who had defected from Assad’s military. Its composition, estimated to be two-thirds from the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, reflects the growing strength of Islamist fighters on the ground and resembles that of the civilian opposition leadership coalition created under Western and Arab auspices in Qatar last month.
Other news of the past few days was that, in the wake of the placement of the al-Nusra Front on the list of terrorist organizations 29 armed resistance groups have signed a declaration that they 'are all Jebhat al-Nusra'.