Syrian opposition head resigns

Moaz Khatib, the head of a U.S.-backed Syrian opposition coalition, announced his resignation on Sunday.

Khatib's resignation is seen as a significant blow to a coalition heralded by the United States and other nations as the Syrian people's legitimate representative and a potential interim government, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The resignation of Khatib, a moderate Islamist who spoke recently of national reconciliation, illustrates the failure of Syrian dissidents to overcome differences in their varied ranks, including Arabs and Kurds, Islamists and secularists, and non-violent activists and armed fighters.

"The regime, with its recklessness, has lost the most valuable of chances for comprehensive national reconciliation," Khatib said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

With the escalating Syrian conflict again threatening to spread beyond the nation's borders, with a reported guided missile attack on Sunday in the occupied Golan Heights and gunfire allegedly striking an Israeli vehicle along the disputed frontier, Khatib's resignation threw the nation's dissident alliance into disarray, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The government of Lebanon, which collapsed over the weekend, has also been a casualty of Syria's conflict.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Lebanon's outgoing prime minister, attempted to keep the nation neutral despite the conflict in neighboring Syria, while the two major political camps in Lebanon have backed opposing sides, causing the precarious political balance in the nation to strain.