The Syrian National Council and Former Brigadier General Meet with Syrian Activists to Discuss the Vision of a Free Syria

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The Syrian American Council Michigan Chapter (SAC-MI) and the Syrian Expatriates co-hosted a forum with Syrian National Council (SNC) members on Saturday, November 19th in Livonia, MI. At the conference, entitled “On the Verge of Transition,” over 300 activists met with Syrian opposition leaders including retired Brigadier General Akil Hashem as well as various SNC members to discuss the opposition’s plans for the removal of the Assad regime.

Eight months ago, there wasn’t even a seed of organized opposition. Today, the Syrian community – inside and outside of Syria – has come a long way. We will see this revolution through to the end.

The Syrian American Council Michigan Chapter (SAC-MI) and the Syrian Expatriates co-hosted a forum with Syrian National Council (SNC) members on Saturday, November 19th in Livonia, MI. At the conference, entitled “On the Verge of Transition,” over 300 activists met with Syrian opposition leaders including retired Brigadier General Akil Hashem as well as various SNC members to discuss the opposition’s plans for the removal of the Assad regime.

Read: Syrian Opposition Leaders Meeting Today in Livonia to Help Overthrow Al-Assad

SNC member and SAC-MI President Khalid Saleh defined the meeting as “one of the first events that the newly formed Syrian National Council is coordinating with Syrian-American organizations." In a series of interactive sessions, SNC members Dr. Murhaf Jouejati, Dr. Osama Kadi, Khalid Saleh, Afra Jalabi, and George Stifo shared the SNC’s assessment of the political and economic realities on Syrian ground; the structure of the SNC, specifically its decision making processes and its representation; the SNC’s vision regarding foreign intervention; and how the American community can support the SNC, specifically, and the Syrian cause in general.

Dr. Jouejati highlighted three critical issues that lead the SNC’s agenda: the relationship of the SNC with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), gaining international recognition, and urging for more targeted sanctions against pro-Assad senior officials and businessmen.

Brig. General Hashem affirmed that the brutal nature of Assad and his regime necessitates a military response from the opposition. Thus, he detailed the range of military options available to the opposition, particularly focusing on the political, humanitarian, and military advantages of creating a buffer zone.

The evening ended with a Zakat Foundation fundraiser to help the increasing number of widows, orphans, and destitute families in cities across Syria. Dr. Kadi noted that the number of unemployed Syrians has reached approximately 1.5 million.

In a statement, Khalid Saleh commented, “Eight months ago, there wasn’t even a seed of organized opposition. Today, the Syrian community – inside and outside of Syria – has come a long way. We will see this revolution through to the end.”

The Syrian American Council (SAC) was founded in 2005 to mobilize Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and governmental organizations to advance civil liberties, human dignity and democracy in Syria. The organization has represented Syrian Americans to the U.S. State Department, Congress, and in international meetings and councils.

Contact: SAC National Media Specialist Leila Tarakji, ltarakji(at)sacouncil(dot)com, (810) 820-4653;
or SAC Board Member Khalid Saleh, ksaleh(at)sacouncil(dot)com, (832) 423-0607.

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