DAMASCUS: Syria's state media on Wednesday slammed rebel forces for electing Ghassan Hitto as opposition premier, saying he was a pawn of foreign nations complicit in a "conspiracy" against Syria.
Al-Watan daily said Hitto had been "appointed" by Turkey and Qatar, which both back the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, along with the Muslim Brotherhood organisation.
"After months of disagreements, the Muslim Brotherhood, supported by the Ottomans (Turkey) and the al-Thani family (Qatar's rulers) succeeded in naming Ghassan Hitto, an American of Syrian origin, as prime minister of a provisional government to lead what they call the liberated territories," the paper said.
"Hitto has been parachuted in. He doesn't know anything about Syria, which he left for the United States at the age of 17 to avoid military service," the paper added, saying that Hitto had US citizenship and "had sworn loyalty to America."
During the meeting to elect the prime minister in Istanbul, "the roles were distributed according to the desire of Qatar... which pays the bills for the travel and the hotels from which the odours of the conspiracy against Syria rise," added Tishrin daily.
"The government of the coalition is born of a Turkish-Saudi-Qatari conspiracy and can only deal with acts of destruction and sabotage by terrorists in Syria," it added.
Al-Watan also accused Hitto of having "initiated actions to increase the violence in Syria by announcing his rejection of any dialogue to peacefully resolve the crisis, and calling for financial and military support for armed men."
Shortly after his election, Hitto -- a former IT executive who has lived in the United States for decades -- insisted that he would not hold talks with Assad's regime, insisting that its overthrow would be his top priority.