DOHA/Damascus, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Exiled Syrian opposition groups convening in the Qatari capital Doha are expected to announce within hours their final decision on a proposal to form a unity opposition front, after the major opposition bloc the Syrian National Council (SNC) elected its new head on Friday.
At a Friday meeting in Doha, the SNC elected George Sabra out of two candidates as the new chairman of its executive board.
Sabra, a Christian born in 1947 in Syria's Damascus, will succeed Abdel Baset Seda, who took over the SNC presidency in June.
Sabra was arrested in July 2011 for "undermining the morale of the state and inciting people to demonstrate against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," but was released two months later and joined the SNC general secretariat.
The SNC and some other exiled opposition groups have been meeting in Doha for days to discuss forming a wider opposition body that could be the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people in case of the current Syrian government's downfall.
The proposal, titled Syrian National Initiative, calls for establishing a united opposition front to help end the 20-month Syrian crisis and forming a transitional government headed by Riad Seif, a prominent Syrian dissident and former member of the parliament.
The groups were expected to announce their final decision on the proposal on Friday, but the SNC requested a 24-hour delay of the announcement, citing its "electoral process."
Turkish new agency Anatolia reported Friday that most of the opposition parties at the Doha meeting have agreed on the proposal and are waiting for the final say of the SNC.
The SNC has shown reluctance towards the U.S.-backed proposal, for concerns that its influence will be weakened if a broader opposition body is established.
Some SNC members, particularly those from the Muslim Brotherhood, cling fast to the idea that the SNC is the only legitimate representative for the Syrian opposition.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently that the SNC had failed to effectively represent the diverse opposition groups.
According to the proposal, the broader body would include 35 members, with 10 from the SNC, 10 from the anti-government movement inside Syria, 10 from the opposition military forces, and five independent personalities.
DAMASCUS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- A booby-trapped car went off Friday in a hotspot suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, leaving at least four people killed, activists said, adding that a jihadist suicide bomber blew himself up at a military checkpoint in another district of the capital, killing 20 soldiers.
The first explosion took place when a car bomb went off at al- Muadamiah suburb in front of the local authority building, killing four people, including a woman, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Full story