This week, French President Francois Hollande said in a nationally televised news conference that his government recognizes the newly formed Syrian National Coalition "as the sole representative of the Syrian people."
Following appeals by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for unity from the Syrian opposition, the coalition was formed last weekend in Qatar. This week brought similar statements of support from the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League, two regional political alliances.
Victoria Panova, a scholar at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told Russian independent news agency RT that the Syrian opposition can't do much without the support for Western and Arab governments.
"In the event that even greater civil unrest unfolds if (Syrian President Bashar) Assad is deposed, the West would not be able to take sides in the unrest because it would have been responsible for putting the new regime in power," she said.
Russia has expressed concern about efforts by Western governments to find a solution to the Syrian civil war. Efforts to pass a resolution against Damascus at the U.N. Security Council have run up against a veto threat from Moscow, which says solutions offered thus far lack balance.
The U.S. and British governments welcomed the forming of the Syrian council but haven't recognized it as representing the Syrian people.