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Syrian opposition elects interim prime minister

March 18, 2013 • World News


In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, columns of smoke rise from heavy bombing by Syrian government forces in Arbeen, Syria, Monday March 18, 2013. Two years after the anti-Assad uprising began, the conflict has become a civil war, with hundreds of rebel group fighting Assad’s forces across Syria and millions of people pushed from their homes by the violence. The U.N. says more than 70,000 people have been killed. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Syria’s opposition coalition early Tuesday elected a little-known American-educated IT manager and Islamic activist to head an interim government to administer the areas seized by rebel forces from the forces of President Bashar Assad.

Ghassan Hitto received 35 votes out of 48 ballots cast by the opposition Syrian National Coalition’s 63 active members during a meeting in Istanbul. The results were read aloud by coalition member Hisham Marwa to applause from a few dozen of his colleagues who had waited until after 1 a.m. to hear the results.

“I miss my wife and children and I look forward to seeing them soon,” said Hitto, who has lived in the United States for decades and recently moved from Texas to Turkey to help coordinate aid to rebel-held areas.

When asked what his interim government’s first priority would be, Hitto said he planned to give a speech later Tuesday outlining his plans.

Coalition members hope the Login to read more

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