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Britain Recognizes Syrian Opposition

Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.
John Cantlie
/
AFP/Getty Images
Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.

Calling it the "sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that the U.K. is officially recognizing the Syrian National Coalition, Reuters reports.

It becomes the second major Western power to do so. France took that diplomatic step last week. The U.S. has not yet done so, but has said that it is time for President Bashar Assad to step down.

As The Associated Press reminds us: "More than 36,000 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising against Assad began in March 2011 and the new coalition is pressing for the means to defend Syrian civilians."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.