Damascus - Syrian opposition group's efforts to topple President Bashar-al Assad's regime are being undermined by defections, split factions and deep ideological divisions, leaked emails have revealed.
Emails leaked from the leader of the Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalioun's account by pro-regime hackers in retaliation for last month's expose of President Bashar al Assad's private correspondence, show how splits and factional infighting are undermining the Council's capacity to combat the regime.
In one message, published in the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, Mohammed Farouk Tayfour, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and deputy president of the SNC, wrote to Ghalioun demanding that spokesman Bassma Kodmani be removed from her position after she expressed in a French TV interview that Israel is a necessity in the Middle East.
"She should stop her statements that are harming the council," Tayfour wrote in the message dated February 26.
According to The Telegraph, occupying a quarter of the SNC's 270 seats, the Muslim Brotherhood's sway has alienated other factions in the umbrella group.
Last month the Syrian Kurdish opposition walked out amid claims that the SNC refused to include wording about the rights of Kurds.
Representing around ten per cent of the Syrian population, losing the Kurdish minority represents a dangerous fragmentation of the Syrian opposition.
According to the paper, the continued discord highlights what activists have called a failing of the international community to recognise the exiled SNC, circumscribing its political clout inside Syria.
Last month, the Friends of Syria Group that includes Turkey, the U.S., Britain, France and Gulf states, recognised the SNC as "a legitimate representative of the Syrian people," falling short of recognition as the legal government in exile they had hoped for.