The head of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) resigned on November 20, according to Reuters.
Riyad Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister under al-Assad, did not explain his reasons for stepping down in a statement posted on social media. He was the head of the Saudi-backed umbrella group that brings together the armed and political opposition to President Bashar al-Assad for nearly two years.
The HNC has been the main representative of the Syrian opposition since its formation at a meeting in Saudi Arabia in December of 2015, and has taken part in UN-led diplomacy aimed at ending the conflict that erupted in 2011. A major turnaround in the conflict came after Russia became involved with its air force in 2015. The Damascus government has been steadily regaining control of territory, thanks also to the support of Iran-backed forces such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.