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updated: 3/24/2013 8:03 AM

Head of Western-backed Syria rebel coalition quits

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Associated Press

BEIRUT -- The leader of the Western-based Syrian opposition coalition has resigned, citing frustrations with the body's ability to advance the fight against President Bashar Assad.

Mouaz al-Khatib said in a statement posted on his Facebook page Sunday that he would continue to serve the opposition's cause outside of the "the official institutions."

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Al-Khatib was president of the Syrian National Coalition, which was formed last year to serve as the opposition's official liaison with other countries and coordinate anti-Assad forces inside and outside of Syria.

Despite electing a new, U.S.-educated prime minister last week, the coalition has failed to establish itself as the top rebel authority in Syria, where hundreds of independent rebel brigades are fighting a civil war against Assad's forces.

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