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Syrian National Council

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NEWS
October 17, 2011 | By Aya Batrawy and Maggie Michael, Associated Press
CAIRO - Gulf countries seeking to suspend Syria's Arab League membership over its bloody crackdown on protesters failed to gain enough support Sunday to push the measure through, reflecting deep divisions among the body's 22 nations. Arab foreign ministers met at the group's Cairo headquarters behind closed doors for three hours without Syria's representative, then held talks with Syrian diplomats that lasted late into the night. Just after the meeting with Syrian diplomats, Qatar Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim made no mention of a suspension but gave Syria 15 days to enact a cease-fire.
NEWS
December 29, 2011 | By Alexandra Zavis and Rima Marrouch, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The head of an Arab League observer mission came under strong criticism Wednesday for describing conditions in the strife-torn Syrian city of Homs as "nothing frightening" despite the release of amateur footage that seemed to show monitors witnessing gunfire and meeting with victims of a violent crackdown against dissent. The observer mission has been the subject of controversy since Syria agreed early last week to admit monitors to determine whether the government is complying with a league-negotiated plan to end months of bloodshed.
NEWS
February 6, 2013 | By Albert Aji and Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - A proposal by a Syrian opposition leader for peace talks suffered two sharp blows Tuesday, with both a ruling-party lawmaker and the largest bloc inside the anti-regime coalition rejecting the idea. After 22 months and more than 60,000 dead, Syria's crisis appears to have reached a stalemate, with neither side making significant battlefield gains likely to bring about a military victory soon. The United States and others have pushed for a negotiated solution - a bid that appeared to get a boost this week when the head of the opposition's National Alliance said he would be willing to negotiate with certain figures from Bashar al-Assad's regime "who don't have blood on their hands.
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - France on Tuesday became the first Western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the "sole" one, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country. The two announcements could start a trend toward world recognition of the rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, undercutting whatever legitimacy the regime of President Bashar al-Assad still has after 20 months of a bloody civil war. "We look forward to supporting the national coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule, and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria," said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner in Washington.
NEWS
March 2, 2012 | By Zeina Karam and Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - After a monthlong military siege, Syrian rebels made what they called a "tactical retreat" Thursday from a key district in Homs, saying they were running low on weapons and conditions were unbearable. Within hours of the rebels' withdrawal, President Bashar al-Assad's regime granted permission for the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter the neighborhood of Baba Amr, which had become a symbol of the resistance. Human-rights workers have been appealing for access for weeks to deliver food, water, and medicine, and to help evacuate the wounded from an area that has been sealed off and attacked by the government since early February.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ISTANBUL, Turkey - One of the thorniest foreign-policy issues facing the winner of Tuesday's election will be how to hasten the end of the brutal Syrian civil war that threatens much of the Middle East. I've just spent two days at a fascinating conference in Istanbul attended by more than 80 rebel commanders and civilian activists who traveled here from inside Syria. The conference was called "Managing the Transition in Syria" and was sponsored by the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, a Washington-based think tank headed by Syrian intellectual and activist Radwan Ziadeh.
NEWS
November 8, 2011 | By Zeina Karam and Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian troops stormed a restive neighborhood in Homs on Monday, kicking in doors and making house-to-house arrests in an area that has spiraled out of government control after nearly a week of deadly assaults, activists said. The regime is scrambling to clear out Baba Amr, a major center of resistance and reprisal, as Damascus faces potential fallout from the Arab League for defying a peace plan brokered by the 22-nation body with persistent violence. According to activists, more than 110 people have been reported killed in the last week in Homs, Syria's third-largest city.
NEWS
October 3, 2011 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian dissidents formally established a broad-based national council Sunday designed to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime, which they accused of pushing the country to the brink of civil war. Syrians took to the streets in celebration, singing and dancing. In a restive northern area, gunmen killed the 21-year-old son of Syria's top Sunni Muslim cleric in an ambush, the state-run news agency reported. The cleric, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, is considered a close supporter of Assad's regime and has echoed its allegations that the unrest in Syria is a result of a foreign conspiracy.
NEWS
June 11, 2012 | By Diaa Hadid and Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syria's main opposition group on Sunday picked a secular Kurd as its new leader after criticism that the former head was too autocratic and the group was becoming dominated by Islamists. The opposition, hobbled by disorganization and infighting, is trying to pull together and appear more inclusive by choosing a member of an ethnic minority. The opposition's disarray has frustrated Western powers eager to dislodge Syrian President Bashar Assad but unwilling or unable to send in their own forces to do it. There has been some willingness to support the rebels with funds and arms, but the lack of a cohesive front or a single address has hampered the efforts as the bloodshed intensifies.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Anne Gearan, Washington Post
ZAGREB, Croatia - The Obama administration Wednesday renounced the proclaimed leaders of the Syrian political opposition and said any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to "hijack" a legitimate revolution. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Syrian National Council, or SNC, should no longer be considered the "visible leader" of the opposition. That made official what has been the increasingly obvious sidelining of an opposition group led mostly by middle-age Syrian expatriates.
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NEWS
March 26, 2013 | By Liz Sly, Washington Post
BEIRUT - Syria's opposition coalition was on the verge of collapse Sunday after its president resigned and rebel fighters rejected its choice to head an interim government, leaving a U.S.- backed effort to forge a united front against President Bashar al-Assad in tatters. The resignation of Moaz al-Khatib, a moderate Sunni preacher who heads the Syrian Opposition Coalition, climaxed a bitter internal fight over a range of issues, from the appointment of an interim government to a proposal by Khatib to begin negotiations with the Syrian regime.
NEWS
February 6, 2013 | By Albert Aji and Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - A proposal by a Syrian opposition leader for peace talks suffered two sharp blows Tuesday, with both a ruling-party lawmaker and the largest bloc inside the anti-regime coalition rejecting the idea. After 22 months and more than 60,000 dead, Syria's crisis appears to have reached a stalemate, with neither side making significant battlefield gains likely to bring about a military victory soon. The United States and others have pushed for a negotiated solution - a bid that appeared to get a boost this week when the head of the opposition's National Alliance said he would be willing to negotiate with certain figures from Bashar al-Assad's regime "who don't have blood on their hands.
NEWS
November 15, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
CAIRO - And now for some good news from the Middle East. On Sunday, at a meeting in Doha, Qatar, the fragmented Syrian opposition formed a coalition that may be able to hasten the end of a brutal civil war. The operative word is may . But this new group with an unwieldy name - the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces - is key to solving President Obama's most urgent foreign policy challenge: preventing Syria...
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - France on Tuesday became the first Western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the "sole" one, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country. The two announcements could start a trend toward world recognition of the rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, undercutting whatever legitimacy the regime of President Bashar al-Assad still has after 20 months of a bloody civil war. "We look forward to supporting the national coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule, and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria," said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner in Washington.
NEWS
November 7, 2012 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
DOHA, Qatar - The head of Syria's main opposition group warned Tuesday that forces trying to undermine his Syrian National Council are inadvertently prolonging the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. Abdelbaset Sieda spoke at an SNC convention in Qatar as the group tried to push back against U.S. criticism and efforts to form a new opposition leadership that would likely sideline the council. The council, formed a year ago, has been slow to include activists and fighters from Syria who are risking their lives to topple Assad's government.
NEWS
November 5, 2012 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
DOHA, Qatar - Sharp disagreements arose Sunday on the first day of a Syrian opposition conference meant to forge a more cohesive leadership that the international community says is necessary before it will boost its support for those trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. The main opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, balked at a U.S.-backed plan that would largely sideline it to make room in a new leadership council for fighters and activists inside Syria. But with international pressure mounting, the SNC also suggested it is willing to negotiate a compromise that would give it more influence in a new leadership team.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Anne Gearan, Washington Post
ZAGREB, Croatia - The Obama administration Wednesday renounced the proclaimed leaders of the Syrian political opposition and said any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to "hijack" a legitimate revolution. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Syrian National Council, or SNC, should no longer be considered the "visible leader" of the opposition. That made official what has been the increasingly obvious sidelining of an opposition group led mostly by middle-age Syrian expatriates.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
ISTANBUL, Turkey - One of the thorniest foreign-policy issues facing the winner of Tuesday's election will be how to hasten the end of the brutal Syrian civil war that threatens much of the Middle East. I've just spent two days at a fascinating conference in Istanbul attended by more than 80 rebel commanders and civilian activists who traveled here from inside Syria. The conference was called "Managing the Transition in Syria" and was sponsored by the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, a Washington-based think tank headed by Syrian intellectual and activist Radwan Ziadeh.
NEWS
July 14, 2012 | By Roy Gutman and Hannah Allam, McClatchy Newspapers
ISTANBUL, Turkey - U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the Obama administration, and the Syrian opposition on Friday denounced President Bashar al-Assad after a massive military assault against a village involving tanks, artillery and helicopters a day earlier caused the deaths of possibly scores of civilians. Russia, Syria's principal backer, also condemned the assault and called for an investigation, but it stopped short of ascribing blame. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said vaguely that "forces" were stoking sectarian violence, a possible reference to foreign nations such as Qatar and Turkey that are backing the Syrian opposition.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | By Henry Meyer, Bloomberg News
MOSCOW - Russia is reaching out to the Syrian opposition to keep influence in the Middle East country after the potential exit of President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian ally, while the top U.N. envoy to Syria met with leaders of another Assad ally, Iran, to try to win their support for a peace effort. U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said Tehran had offered its support to end the conflict and must be "part of the solution. " "My presence here proves that I believe Iran can play a positive role and should therefore be a part of the solution in the Syrian crisis," Annan told reporters in Tehran after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
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