Scuffles spread during the meeting at a Cairo hotel, after a Syrian Kurdish group quit the meeting.
Women wept as men traded blows, and staff at the hotel used for the meeting hurriedly removed tables and chairs.
“The Kurds withdrew because the conference rejected to an item that says the Kurdish people must be recognized,” Reuters quoted Abdel Aziz Othman of the National Kurdish Council, as saying.
“This is unfair and we will no longer accept to be marginalized.”
Arguments were rife among the roughly 250 participants at the conference in Cairo over key questions, including whether to ask for foreign military intervention in Syria and what role religion would play in a post-Assad Syria.
“It’s very dangerous at this point,” said Abdel-Aziz al-Khayyar, who is a part of the Syrian National Coordination Body (NCB). “If we fail to unify as the opposition, it is the greatest gift to the regime.”
The conference was boycotted by two of the largest groups -- the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) and the Free Syrian Army.
Even members of the same group disagreed on key issues.
Mr. Khayyar dismissed those calling for foreign military intervention as “voices that are not very important … waiting for the world to give its kids to die for our cause.”
But another member of the NCB, Abdel-Basit Hamo, said foreign help was welcome.
And the two largest opposition groups at the meeting distrust each other. Members of the Syrian National Council (SNC) accused the NCB of being too close to the regime.
For its part, the NCB accused the SNC of being a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and Western powers.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
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