We want them to help us run things until there are elections, Mohamed said.
Mohameds vision of elections runs counter to the groups that fought for and won Raqqa, however. The United States has labeled Jabhat al Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front, as a terrorist group that is just another name for al Qaida in Iraq. It and Ahrar al Sham share a belief that any post-Assad Syrian state should be based on Islamic law.
On Friday night, members of Nusra, including fighters from Egypt and Tunisia, handed out literature encouraging people to accept Islamic law in one of Raqqas main roundabouts. The groups leaders and members have repeatedly denounced elections as un-Islamic.
They, not the civil council, are clearly in control. Nusra and Sham, along with a third group, the Islamic Front for Unity and Liberation, have plans to set up a sharia court in Raqqa and are already policing the streets. While Nusra controls the electricity, Sham has taken over nearby stocks of flour and wheat, and controls distribution to bakeries. The civil council doesnt seem to control much outside the Writers Union building.
Nonetheless, Mohamed said he was confident that a compromise would be reached.
No political process will pass without the peoples approval, Mohamed said.
The direction of the city may become clearer soon as both the Islamists and Mohamed lay plans for putting on trial officials of the Assad regime who were captured when rebels stormed the government building. Among those being held is the provinces governor, Hassan Jalaly.
The rebels hold dozens of other prisoners and said they were negotiating possible exchanges with the government. Videos posted to YouTube when the city fell to the rebels suggested summary executions had taken place.
How the rebels deal with captured Assad officials what is known as transitional justice hasnt been an issue in Syria before; until now, no major city has been in rebel hands.
We will have a court, Mohamed said. Then, referring to the political party identified with Assad rule, he added: Syria had civil laws before the Baath Party.