National unity is a popular and national demand, member of Syrian National Coalition Farah Atassi has told Elaph.
The demand, she said, “has been held by the rebels since the first months of the revolution,” she said, adding that Syrian women “have worked to unite all parties, movements and Syrian national opposition figures, including both the traditional and the new ones, militarily and politically, in one clear plan to overthrow the regime and achieve revolution's goals."
Atassi expressed regret that some opposition forces had become preoccupied with narrow partisan programs, instead of unity, solidarity and coordination and joint action on all fronts, political and military.
She also said there is a need to re-evaluate the current situation and develop strategies correctly with the participation of all political forces and parties to restore momentum for the Syrian revolution’s image and goals.
Atassi called for the unification of opposition labor, administration, political and military work under a singular fund.
“The establishment of a national independent fund to support the revolution under the supervision of Syrian and international experts and independent professional organizations, will finance the political action and part of the military action,” she said.
“The fund must come from the proceeds of national capital in support of the revolution and from monthly donations paid by Syrians around the world,” she said, adding that “National decision-making comes as a result of independent funding and independence from the supportive countries whose aid cannot be totally reliable."
Syrian opposition figure and senior member of the Union of Democratic Syrians, Marah al-Bikaii, told Elaph: "In light of the disintegration of the political opposition, and its failure to secure the support to fighters on the ground, I'm afraid that defeats such as that at Qusayr may recur.”
“Liberal fighters have been at the gates of Damascus for months but cannot advance because they lack arms. They are mostly moderate brigades and there is no problem in arming them, but the opposition failed to secure arms from the Friends of the Syrian people, or from some Arab countries, which favor arming some battalions to pursue their political goals over independent and pure patriotic goals,” Bikaii said.
Researcher, opposition figure and leader of the Movement for State-Building, Rim Turkmani said that she believed the complexity of the Syrian problem had reached a stage so incapacitating even to experts and analysts in conflict resolution.
"What began as a political struggle revealed conflicts that lurk inside and outside Syria, which divided the country into an arena of struggle between Syrians and non-Syrians, and Syrian society remained the first victim,” she said, “without the organizational and representative ability to confront this struggle, and without being able to impose an agenda for a solution reflective of its aspirations and priorities.”
“Today we pay for the sin of false representation of Syria. Those who carried out this role left the popular movement in Syria without real leaders, and marginalized the role of the leadership that emerged," she continued.
"Today we are in a dire need for the development of civil and political organization within Syrian society, in order to give it an active and genuine role in a future Syria worthy of the sacrifices of the Syrian people. It should respond to their aspirations, and this requires those who have popularity inside Syria to overcome their fears, call on Syrians and help them to assemble and organize, and encourage them to express themselves. The approach will enable Syrian society to organize and express itself, not replace it for personal or partisan glories".
“The first key is to express our political and social differences in a peaceful manner. If the system is violent, it is because it understands the role of violence in smashing society to prevent it from facing a tyrannical regime.
“However hard it seems to confront violence, it remains the only way to reach a real solution in the interest of Syria and the Syrians. Without that, Syrian society is unable to defend itself against the jihadist groups, which are invested and sent to propel their ideas at the expense of the blood of the Syrian people.”
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer