Syrian Opposition Tries to Unify

Talks go into the morning, but no deal is in sight

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2012 8:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Syria's various opposition groups met in Doha, Qatar, yesterday and argued into this morning about a plan to form one unified government that could present a plausible alternative to that of Bashar al-Assad. Western governments say they want one group they can work with, instead of the hodgepodge that have been drawing support from various world powers. They're also hoping such a government could channel aid to rebel-held regions, to reduce the chaos that fosters jihadi organizations, the New York Times reports.

There was no deal in sight when talks broke off, the Wall Street Journal reports, but one rough plan being discussed would call for a body of about 60 dissidents, led by technocrats. Many had hoped the Syrian National Council could serve as an opposition government, but Hillary Clinton deemed the group a failure last month. It certainly hasn't kept hold of Syria's rebels, who have been swiftly losing public support thanks to their increasingly violent tactics, the Times reports.

  • In other Syria news, the fighting has intensified dramatically in recent days. Turkey says that roughly 8,000 refugees have fled across its border in the last 24 hours alone, Reuters reports. Rebels, meanwhile, captured the town of Ras al-Ain, opening another route to Turkey.

Syrian dissident Riad Seif, center, speaks to the media at the meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
Syrian rebels gather in the Old City of Aleppo, which is now controlled by the Free Syrian Army, in this Nov. 6 file photo.   (AP Photo/Monica Prieto)
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