The Guardian reports: Syria’s opposition is struggling to respond to the intensifying crackdown by the regime and the failure of international efforts to secure a peaceful outcome.
The proliferation of different groups, personal rivalries, incompatible agendas and failing strategies is making it hard for western and Arab governments, who would like to see the sort of unity the Libyan rebels displayed last year.
On the ground, the activists of the Local Co-ordination Committees are finding it harder to function because of arrests and killings. The LCCs operate all over the country and play a key role in filming protests and regime violence to ensure information reaches the wider world. Their most effective weapons are laptops and mobile phones. The casualty figures they collate are considered to be reliable.
Close links exist between the LCCs and the fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), composed of local men and defectors from the army and security forces. It is a prime target for the government, which calls them “armed terrorist groups”.
The FSA commander is in Turkey and there is little co-ordination with local units. Communications are difficult. Political control of the FSA is a key question for the main opposition grouping, the Syrian National Council (SNC), which is based in Turkey and referred to dismissively by the regime as the “Istanbul council”. Reports about the creation of a High Military Council led by a former army general have added to confusion about who is in charge.