Syrian opposition says US-backed revamping proposal would prolong Assad's hold on power


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The remarks come after the council said Monday it had agreed to almost double its membership, to 420 people, including women and Syrians fighting on the ground, in a bid to assuage critics and stay relevant.

The council would only have 15 seats as part of the proposed 50-member Syrian National Initiative. The plan is championed by a prominent Syrian dissident and businessman, Riad Seif, but some critics say the idea is really the brainchild of America's ambassador to Syria, Richard Ford, in a bid to weaken the Muslim Brotherhood's sway over the council, Al Jazeera reports.

Sieda's comments augur poorly for the U.S.-backed proposal, which is expected to be brought up Thursday at the international conference that includes the council and several smaller groups. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that the council, which is made up largely of exiled academics, has little legitimacy and needs to be part of a larger, more inclusive group.