- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Coalition an attempt at unifying Syrian rebel forces
Suggest Annan’s peace plan dead
Question of the Day
ISTANBUL — Syrian activists on Monday announced a new rebel coalition that aims to overcome deep divisions within the opposition in its fight against the forces of President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian Rebels Front declared its formation at a news conference in Turkey that had the hallmarks of a public relations event, including a banner, video presentations and a simultaneous translation service. It was uncertain how the new organization would coordinate with other sectors of the Syrian opposition, whose failure to unite has hobbled its campaign to topple Mr. Assad despite a nationwide uprising that has lasted more than a year.
Khaled al-Okla, one of the organizers, said the fledgling group will coordinate with the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of rebels whose nominal leaders are based on the Turkish side of the border with Syria. Members of the Free Syrian Army acknowledge that their commanders have limited or no operational control over rebel units inside Syria, but they say the label has given a public face to the lightly armed factions that are under heavy pressure from government forces with tanks and artillery.
He also read a statement that said the Syrian Rebels Front had been formed in light of Mr. Assad’s “scorched-earth policy” as well as “the failure of all Arab and international initiatives to rein in Assad from his crimes.”
The statement suggested the rebels were giving up on a peace plan proposed by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan. The 15-month-old revolt against Mr. Assad’s rule has killed as many as 13,000 people, according to activist groups.
The rebel statement cited the May 25 killings of more than 100 people, many of them children, in Houla as the height of the Syrian regime’s cruelty. The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations about what happened in Houla, each blaming the other for the house-to-house carnage. U.N. investigators have said there are strong suspicions that pro-regime gunmen are responsible for at least some of the killings.
The announcement of the new rebel front was accompanied by a video presentation claiming it has 100 “battalions or fighting formations,” and it featured clips of masked fighters declaring their allegiance to the new entity.
Also Monday, the Washington-based Refugees International called on the world to help Syrians who have fled their country’s turmoil, saying they are stretching the meager resources of Jordan and Lebanon. Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, Jordan has taken in more than 110,000 refugees, and Lebanon 26,000, according to official figures. In Jordan, many refugees are being hosted in private homes, with Jordanian families providing them food and shelter.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq