- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2013

A council formed to create a united government that could rule in place of Syrian President Bashar Assad has lost credibility, as its second attempt at unifying the war-torn nation fell flat over the weekend.

The Syrian National Council, a five-member committee of the National Coalition — the larger group formed in November to unite the nation’s various rebel factions on an interim government — met Sunday, but failed to reach agreement on an interim prime minister.

Not all the rebel forces even view the establishment of a smaller, unified opposition government with the same level of favor; Muslim Brotherhood members, especially, stand to lose power with such an agreement, according to Australian News.

It’s the SNC, however, that has been able to generate the most support from around the world, various media report.

“This is a big blow for the revolution against Bashar al-Assad,” one Syrian opposition leader said, about the council’s failure, in a Reuters report.

His statements come as Germany deployed Patriot missile systems to Turkey’s border with Syria, joining batteries previously provided by the United States and the Netherlands, the AP reports. Turkey, which has become one of Assad’s toughest critics, faces a growing threat of ballistic missiles from Syria. Germany, on Monday, unloaded its defense system at the port of Iskenderun, AP reported.

Syria’s uprising has spanned more than 22 months, leading to an estimated 60,000 deaths, according to the United Nations.

Friday, U.N. high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay called for an International Criminal Court investigation of war crimes in Syria.

“I firmly believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed, are being committed and should be investigated,” she said, during a closed meeting of the Security Council, according to numerous reports.

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