White House Wants New Opposition Leadership in Syria

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images(ZAGREB, Croatia) -- The Obama administration not only wants regime change in Syria, it's also pushing for new leadership for rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the situation while in Croatia Wednesday, saying that the Paris-based Syrian National Council is no longer viable because its members have been out of the country for decades.

According to Clinton, "There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom.  And there needs to be an opposition leadership structure that is dedicated to representing and protecting all Syrians."

Clinton didn't entirely dismiss the SNC's efforts to seek a liberated Syria and said the group could be part of a larger opposition.

However, the White House is making it obvious now that it will take a more active role in helping to shape the post-Assad Syria by offering names and organizations that are better suited to control the new government's future, whenever that may be.

Clinton will announce more concrete plans during a conference in Qatar next week.

Speaking on the rise of al Qaeda militants in Syria, the secretary of state remarked, "We also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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