The head of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmed Jarba struck the Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Mokdad during the issue of results of the meetings of the Syrian National Coalition in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Tensions were high between the two men after the Sunday-Monday midnight meeting, following two days of negotiations about sensitive files, including the interim government and Kurdish participation in the Coalition and Geneva Conference II.
Jarba struck Mokdad on the face in a slap so strong the sound echoed in the room because of the microphones present in the great hall of the hotel near Istanbul's international airport.
Following the blow, members of the Presidency separated the two men. Mokdad was then surrounded by men to prevent him from asking for Turkish police to intervene, as he was threatening to do.
A team of Coalition members continued, despite their differing motivations, to try to calm the situation.
The members of the Coalition confirmed that Kurdish National Council members joining the Coalition, was the climax of tensions between the two men, after an accumulation of hostilities.
The issue had a direct impact on several military and political files, most importantly Jarba's insistence that 11 additional Kurdish members should join the Coalition before the vote on the issue of participation in Geneva Conference. It is well-known that these members are supporters of participation in Geneva, while the representatives of the Free Syrian Army strongly oppose it.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer