Arab Spring

U.S. Recognizes Syrian Opposition

At least, the opposition that we hope prevails

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President Barack Obama granted U.S. recognition on Tuesday to a Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, a move aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

Obama announced his decision in an interview with ABC News on the eve of a meeting of Syrian opposition leaders and their international allies in Morocco, but he stopped short of authorizing U.S. arming of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad.

"It's a big step," Obama said in a step that could provide a diplomatic boost to the anti-Assad political cause after nearly two years of fighting.