Syrian opposition chiefs seek unity in Qatar talks

July 26, 2012 - 6:38 AM

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Syrian opposition factions are gathering in Qatar to seek agreement on leadership for a transitional administration that could step in as a stopgap government if rebel forces topple Bashar Assad's regime.

Thursday's planned meeting in Doha marks the most comprehensive bid to bring together various Syrian opposition groups and show world leaders a credible alternative to Assad.

The Syrian National Council has acted as the international face of the revolution, but it's been unable to unite all dozens of disparate rebel factions under one banner.

Among the potential guiding forces for a transitional team is Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, one of the most senior figures to defect from Assad's regime. He is urging all opposition forces to unite.

Qatar is a leading backer of the Syrian rebels.