Syria crisis: Opposition sets up military bureau

BBC News reports: Syria’s main political opposition group has formed a military bureau to unify armed resistance to the government.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) said the bureau would bring armed groups under a central command and control the flow of weapons to avoid “chaos”.

The government launched a ground assault in the city of Homs this week after weeks of shelling.

The UN’s rights council has passed a resolution condemning “systematic violations” against civilians.

The motion, supported by 37 nations, called for the regime to allow access for aid agencies, and demanded an immediate halt to the violence.

China and Russia, which have both vetoed UN resolutions on Syria, voted against the proposal. Cuba also rejected the motion.

The vote carries no legal weight, but analysts say it may embolden diplomats to take a tougher line in UN Security Council debates.

SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun announced the new military bureau at a news conference in Paris.

He said the uprising had begun as a non-violent movement, but the council had to “shoulder its responsibilities in light of this new reality”.

Mr Ghalioun said the bureau would function like a defence ministry and be staffed by soldiers from the main armed group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as well as civilians.

It would control the supply of arms, track and organise armed groups, manage funding and seek guidance from foreign experts, he said, insisting its function was only to protect peaceful protesters.

Mr Ghalioun said the FSA had agreed to the new organisation.

However, the head of the FSA, Col Riyad al-Assad, has declared his organisation will not co-operate with the new bureau, says the BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon.

It is extraordinary, our correspondent explains, because the announcement specifically mentioned that the bureau was being established in order to provide arms to the FSA, as well as political control.

What Col Assad is saying is that the FSA does not want any political interference and has its own military strategy, which is to keep fighting the government, our correspondent says.

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One thought on “Syria crisis: Opposition sets up military bureau

  1. peter brown

    There is no limit to the arms being offered to the opposition and all sorts of strange bedfellows have an interest in keeping the fighting going US, Israel, Al Queda… no doubt we will all be expected to cheer on a NATO attack at some time… but surely there is a better way. Noone wants a repeat of whats happening in now forgotten Libya? It is proper to ask who the opposition are; how they will defeat the Syrian Army without outside force; what will take the place of Assad and , most importantly, if the Syrian people finally vote for complete INDEPENDECE will they be allowed to continue without the US destroying them… as long as we vote for the American stoodge we have democracy… dare to choose another (Hamas?) and you are not recognised! So much for Deemocratic values

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