Syria Opposition Again Can't Form Government
Second attempt by Syrian National Coalition fails
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2013 3:43 AM CST
Free Syrian Army fighters hold their weapons during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andoni Lubaki)

(Newser) – Two months after Syria's fractious opposition movement came together to form the Syrian National Coalition, a second attempt to form a transitional government has failed. SNC leaders said Istanbul talks broke up with no agreement on an interim prime minister to run opposition-held areas, Reuters reports. It's yet another blow to the credibility of the SNC, which is rife with internal divisions and power struggles that could undermine support from the West and other parts of the world. New proposals on forming a transitional government are expected within 10 days. Nevertheless, "this is a big blow for the revolution against Bashar al-Assad," says one opposition leader.

Some members of the SNC, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are concerned that a transitional government will cut their influence, while others worry that Western powers will influence the new government and ultimately persuade it to let Bashar al-Assad stay. A person who attended the Istanbul meeting says that half the group opposes even forming a transitional government, although doing so was part of the original agreement to form the coalition. Now a five-person committee including the SNC president will work on new proposals; the president is currently in Qatar seeking financial aid for any government that is formed.

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KennyLLC
Jul 4, 2013 4:54 PM CDT
Sex Jihad is Okay'ed By Muslim Clerics "Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-'Arifi denied issuing a fatwa which purportedly sanctioned the rape of Syrian women, saying that "no sane person" would issue such an edict. We regret not including that information when this column originally was published. News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law. Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-'Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women. Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices—their chastity, their dignity—in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria. And it is prostitution—for they are promised payment, albeit in the afterlife. The Quran declares that "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons [their bodies] and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111). Islam has gotten filthy in it's so-called "holy" wars. http://www.investigativeproject.org/4048/guest-column-the-sex-jihad
in.disbelief
Jan 21, 2013 10:01 AM CST
inhale...exhale... in this case, shorter would be better
AlexanderArgentina
Jan 21, 2013 9:06 AM CST
The Army Continues Targeting Terrorists and Their Equipment Units of the Armed Forces on Sunday carried out several operations against terrorists in Douma farms, Harasta, Hejjeira, al-Dhiyabiyeh and Aqraba in Damascus Countryside, killing and injuring many of them, in addition to destroying their hideouts. An official source told SANA reporter that the army inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in al-Aliyeh farms and al-Shiyfouniyeh in Douma and Bastara farms in Harasta in the eastern Ghouta. The source added that terrorists Hani Darouish, Mohammad Ragheb Wahbeh, Maher Qwaider, Iyad Hashish, Mohammad Said al-Mansi and Abdul-Kareem Mahfoud were identified among the dead. The source noted that another army unit destroyed a vehicle equipped with a heavy machinegun, two cars and a hideout for terrorists with all the weapons and ammunition inside it in Hejjeira and al-Diyabiyeh. It said that a number of terrorists were killed in the operation, including Zakaraya al-Ali and Mohammad Bashbash. In Aqraba, a unit of the Armed Forces killed and injured many terrorists, in addition to destroying a DShK-equipped vehicle, three cars and a microbus which the terrorists had used in their movements and weapons transfer. In a relevant context, units of the armed forces killed and injured terrorists in al-Mleiha and Darayya in Damascus countryside. An official source told SANA that units of the armed forces continued the crackdown on the remnants of terrorists in Darayya city and killed a number of them, among them ''Abu Ali al-Janani'', a leader of a so-called ''Grandsons of the Prophet'' group, Mustafa al-Mustafa, Mahdi Baraka and Mohammad Ashour. The source added that the terrorists in al-Mleiha suffered heavy losses and many of them were killed, among them Aref Matar, leader of the so-called ''The Military Council of Hamza Bin Abdul-Muttaleb Battalion.'' A storehouse of weapons was also destroyed, along with the ammunition, heavy machineguns, automatic rifles and explosive devices inside. Meanwhile, an engineering unit dismantled scores of IEDs weighing over 30 kg that terrorists planted in the streets to be remotely detonated. Units of the Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in Daraya in Damascus Countryside, killing and injuring scores of them. An official source said that an army unit killed scores of terrorists who were occupying the municipality center and destroyed several of their hideouts in the area. The source added that many snipers were killed in the operation, including terrorist Mohammad Shihada, the leader of an armed terrorist group. Terrorist Group Members Killed in Aleppo A unit of the Armed Forces targeted an armed terrorist group near City Dream Hall in al-Ansari area in Aleppo city, killing and injuring all of its members. An official source said in a statement to SANA reporter that terrorist Ahmad Khaled al-Hussein was identified among the dead. A source in the province said that the army also destroyed terrorists' gatherings in the areas of al-Bab, Queris, Mare', Assan and Tamoura. The source added that another army unit destroyed two vehicles and killed the terrorists in them in the area of al-Dweirenyeh. In Aleppo city, the Armed Forces destroyed 4 DShK- equipped cars in al-Sheikh Najjar. The Armed Forces also destroyed terrorists' gatherings in Bab al-Neirub, Bani Zaid, Sahet al-Milh and al-Amryeh, killing and injuring scores of the terrorists. Terrorists Killed, Machingun-equipped Vehicles Destroyed in Homs Countryside A unit of the Armed Forces destroyed a number of machinegun-equipped vehicles along with all weapons and ammunition inside them in the countryside of Homs. A military source told SANA reporter that the army units killed and injured many terrorists who were committing acts of killing and looting in Talbeiseh, al-Houla, al-Dabaa, al-Bouida and Kefr Aya in the countryside of Homs. On the other hand, another army unit arrested terrorists Mohammad Amin al-Shablout, Khaled al-Hussein al-Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad al-Ibrahim al-Asta who were carrying large amounts of money in al-Dar al-Kabira area in Homs. Terrorist Group Attacking Busra al-Sham Castle in Daraa Repelled In Daraa countryside, a unit of the Armed Forces repelled a terrorist group which tried to attack Busra al-Sham castle in Daraa countryside, killing a number of terrorists and injuring others. A military source told SANA that the Armed Forces also killed several terrorists who committed acts of terrorism in Busra al-Harrier in the countryside. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces clashed with an armed terrorist group in the area of Harfoush and killed and injured scores of the terrorists. A military source told SANA that terrorists Modar al-Kharfan and Jamal Sharaf were identified among the dead. Several Military Operations Carried out in Idleb Countryside In the same context, units of the Armed Forces carried out special operations against the terrorists' dens and gatherings in Binnish, Areha, Ihsem, Deir Sunbul and Kourin towns in Idleb countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists and destroying their vehicles which were equipped with machineguns. An official source told SANA that the Armed Forces destroyed a mortar and a car equipped with a heavy machinegun which was used by terrorists to assault citizens in Haish area. The source added that several terrorists' vehicles were destroyed and scores of terrorists were killed and injured, adding that terrorist Ibrahim Kreesh was injured in Areha. The source said that the army dismantled 7 explosive devices weighing between 30-50 kg each planted by terrorists on al-Janoudyeh-al-Ya'qubyeh road in Jisr al-Shoghour. Meanwhile, a unit of the Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses upon a terrorist group which tried to attack citizens in Wadi al-Daif area. A number of machinegun-equipped cars were destroyed by the army members. Another army unit clashed with armed terrorist groups in the area of Wadi al-Deif in Idleb countryside and inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists. A military source told SANA reporter that large amounts of weapons, including machineguns and launchers, were seized. The source added that terrorists Radwan Ahmad al-Mahmoud, Mohammad Hammoud al-Hammoud and Abdo Nori al-Hammoud were identified among the dead. Ministerial Committee Tasked with Implementing Political Program to Solve the Crisis Convenes The ministerial committee tasked with implementing the political program to solve the crisis, chaired by Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, held a meeting with chairman and members of the Higher Commission for Relief on Sunday afternoon. Premier al-Halqi stressed the importance of the integrated role encompassing the entire society and civil activities in implementing the political program to resolve the current crisis and achieve security in stability. He also lauded the efforts of the Higher Commission for Relief in terms of relief work and providing housing and aid to affected and displaced families. In turn, Chairman of the Higher Commission for Relief, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Jassem Zakaraya, reviewed the Commission's memo on its work program and the steps it will take to carry out its tasks as per the government's program. Following the discussion of this program, the meeting produced a number of decisions on finishing the construction of databases on families outside temporary housing centers, tasking the State Ministry for Red Cross Affairs and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to document the number of affected families abroad, and taking immediate steps to visit housing centers and camps in neighboring countries. The meeting also decided to task the Higher Commission for Relief with taking all possible steps to provide housing centers for affected families currently residing abroad, compensating affected families returning from abroad for the damage caused to their home, tasking the Commission to adopt a unified relief card and the relief records in subcommittees in each province, calculating the needs of families that left housing centers, and having the Commission take measures to ensure that aid is delivered to those who need them with emphasis on transporting aid using railroads.