- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Syria’s coalition of rebel fighters have banded together and elected a prime minister — Ghassan Hitto, an IT manager who was educated in America.

The Guardian reports Mr. Hitto, who is also an Islamic activist, will now head the interim government tasked with leading the rebels to oust President Bashar Assad from power. He was elected with 35 of the 48 votes that were cast Monday at an Istanbul gathering of Syrian National Coalition members. Mr. Hitto is due to give a speech Tuesday to outline his key priorities, The Guardian says.

Mr. Hitto’s only recently moved to Turkey. He was in the United States for years — and in Texas, most recently.

“I miss my wife and children, and I look forward to seeing them soon,” he said, in The Guardian.

Rebel forces had tried twice earlier to elect an interim leader, but talks fell apart. One of the interim government’s first challenges, The Guardian reports: To gain support from that various rebel factions that are fighting against Mr. Assad’s forces.