DOHA - The new chief of the main Syrian opposition group overseas said on Saturday he still had hope for more military aid from Western powers in the revolt against the rule of Bashar Assad.

"Now we will push the Arab countries and the international community to change their position. We need a new decision," George Sabra told Reuters in Doha, where Syrian opposition figures have been meeting for the past week to try to forge a new leadership including activists overseas and in Syria itself.

He spoke after the Syrian National Council (SNC), formed last year as Damascus tried to crush the protest movement for democratic reform, voted him as its new leader on Friday night.

"We need military equipment - rockets against tanks and airplanes to protect ourselves... We hope we will get something soon," said the 65-year-old Sabra, when asked if the SNC had received any assurances of more military support forthcoming.

Sabra, a Christian, takes over a body that has come under heavy criticism from international allies for being ineffective in the fight against the Syrian government, but which says the West has let rebels down by not giving more military aid.

The SNC says that it has been unable to help bring down Assad so far because of the unwillingness of Washington to engage in a military venture similar to the NATO operation that helped bring down Muammar Gaddafi in Libya last year.

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