Over the past nineteen months, Syria's opposition has failed to overcome President Bashar Al Assad's regime and put an end to the bloody civil war. Although there have been signs of success along the way, the fractious groups have lacked the united front needed to triumph on the battlefield or in the conference room.
Many Syrians want change in their country but it is difficult to get behind a squabbling, divided opposition that align themselves with extremist groups. Assad's supporters might be defecting but the rebels have been unable to convert their opponent’s loss into their gain.
Former Syrian prime minister, Riyad Hijab , who defected in early August, hit the nail on the head last week, saying: "The regime fears most that the opposition unifies."
After a series of failures in Cairo and on the international stage, the old Syrian National Council (SNC) has been subsumed into a new umbrella organization.
On Sunday - after four days of heated negotiations that came close to derailing - the National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition (NCRFSO) was formally established.
In theory this new body will manage the political and military affairs of the whole opposition, uniting them in one group. But critics fear that in practice the National Coalition will end up as nothing more than a new face to the same old divisions.
Already the signs of spats are coming to light. The group running popular opposition Facebook page, Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC), nearly came to blows over the new coalition this week.
According to online reports, administrators of the page who opposed the new NCRFSO temporarily changed the password to ensure others couldn’t post news of the new group. It is the same kind of pettiness that has hindered the opposition for months.
The new coalition has reportedly been told they must give up on dreams of international intervention but without the divisions and small-mindedness, perhaps it might still not be too much to ask.
Do you think the coalition will work or will divisions within the opposition continue? Will the opposition be able to overcome the regime without being united? Share your comments with us below!