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Sunday, 24 September 2023
Doha Conference: Hijab to lead a new opposition body with Qatar-Turkey's support
Zara saleh

As the so-called, the "Arab spring" has begun across the Arab world, Qatar and Turkey have emerged as driving forces to different Islamic rebels such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In the Syrian conflict, for example, Doha has had a significant influence on the Syrian opposition and armed groups by pouring millions of dollars. Such influence has been reached with Turkey's support as the main ally of backing the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists like the Al-Nusra front and even the so-called Islamic State. As a result, Qatar and Turkey were seized control over the Syrian opposition, mainly the Syrian National Coalition, aiming to protect their political interests and agendas first but not the Syrian.

Recently, Qatar and Turkey are working on a plan to establish a new political body for the Syrian opposition that is affiliated with both countries. The new project will be led by Riyadh Hijab, the former Syrian Prime Minister and Baath party member, who was serving the dictator regime of Bashar Al-Assad until 2012. Then he was selected as the head of the Higher Negotiation Committee for Geneva talks in 2015. The plan has been undertaken after the recent meeting between Turkey and Qatar in Doha to restructure the Syrian opposition based on their political agendas, to hold a conference for the different Syrian opposition groups. It has been clear that the expected conference will be held in February 2022 in the Qatari capital Doha, and such as new opposition body, eventually, will replace the expired opposition body of the Syrian National Coalition that based in Istanbul and became the main Turkish tool in the Syrian conflict.

Pushing Hijab again on the top of the new political body is the Doha-Ankara plan to avoid any weaknesses of their influence in the Syrian conflict due to the Russian and the US expected strategic plan about the future of Syria. Consequently, Riyadh Hijab's new political body will be based on the idea of abandon the call for overthrowing the Assad regime as the essential step for the Syrian talks. The former Assad's prime minister Hijab is now ready to serve his previous President or to implement Turkey and Qatar's agendas. Based on the fact that the Hijab's project is backed by Turkey and Qatar, consequently, will not be in the interests of the Syrian people. Turkey, for instance, now is occupying part of the Syrian territories with the financial support of Qatar. On the other hand, having Turkey's presence in the Hijab project will immediately mean excluding other Syrian components such as Kurds and other political parties which not affiliated with Turkey or Qatar. That means the Hijab's new political body will not be different from the current Syrian National Coalition and eventually will be another card for Erdogan's agendas in Syria after his domestic economic and political crisis.   

Zara Saleh

By Zara Saleh