Pakistan Cyber Force: Terrorist Republic of France Recognizes Syrian Rebel Coalition

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Pakistan Cyber Force [Official]

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Terrorist Republic of France Recognizes Syrian Rebel Coalition

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Smoke billowed from burning tires as a Syria
rebel fired towards regime forces during clashes
in the Al-Amariya district of Aleppo in Syria on Tuesday.
France announced Tuesday that it was recognizing the newly formed Syrian rebel coalition and would consider arming the group, seeking to inject momentum into a broad Western and Arab effort to build a viable and effective opposition that would hasten the end of a stalemated civil war that has destabilized the Middle East. The announcement by President François Hollande made France the first Western country to fully embrace the new coalition, which came together this past weekend under Western pressure after days of difficult negotiations in Doha, Qatar.

The goal was to make an opposition leadership — both inside and outside the country — representative of the array of Syrian groups pressing for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad. Although Mr. Assad is increasingly isolated as his country descends further into mayhem and despair after 20 months of conflict, he has survived partly because of the disagreements and lack of unity among his opponents. Throughout the conflict, the West has taken half measures and been reluctant to back an aggressive effort to oust Mr. Assad. This appears to be the first time that Western nations, with Arab allies, are determined to build a viable opposition leadership that can ultimately function as a government. Whether it can succeed remains unclear.

Mr. Hollande went beyond other Western pledges of support for the new Syrian umbrella rebel group, which calls itself the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. But Mr. Hollande’s announcement clearly signaled expectations that if the group can establish political legitimacy and an operational structure inside Syria, creating an alternative to the Assad family’s four decades in power, it will be rewarded with further recognition, money and possibly weapons.

“I announce that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and thus as the future provisional government of a democratic Syria and to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime,” said Mr. Hollande, who has been one of the Syrian president’s harshest critics. As for weapons, Mr. Hollande said, France had not supported arming the rebels up to now, but “with the coalition, as soon as it is a legitimate government of Syria, this question will be looked at by France, but also by all countries that recognize this government.”

Political analysts called Mr. Hollande’s announcement an important moment in the Syrian conflict, which began as a peaceful Arab Spring uprising in March 2011. It was harshly suppressed by Mr. Assad, turned into a civil war and has left nearly 40,000 Syrians dead, displaced about 2.5 million and forced more than 400,000 to flee to neighboring countries, according to international relief agencies. “It’s certainly another page of the story,” Augustus Richard Norton, a professor of international relations at Boston University and an expert on Middle East political history, said of the French announcement. “I think it’s important. But it will be much more important if other countries follow suit. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”

Some drew an analogy to France’s leading role in the early days of the Libyan uprising when it helped funnel aid, and later military support, to the rebels who had firmly established themselves in eastern Libya and would later topple Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. But in Syria, rebels have not been as organized and have no hold on significant amounts of territory — at least not enough to create a provisional government that could resist Mr. Assad’s military assaults. The West has also refused, so far, to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, which was critical to the success of the Libyan uprising.

Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that the new coalition would have to create a secure zone in Syria to be successful, and that that step would require support from the United States, which was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the group’s creation but has not yet committed to giving it full recognition. What the French have done, Mr. Tabler said, is significant because they have started the process of broader recognition, putting pressure on the group to succeed. “They’ve decided to back this umbrella organization and hope that it has some kind of political legitimacy and keep it from going to extremists,” he said. “It’s a gamble. The gamble is that it will stiffen the backs of the opposition.”

Pakistan Cyber Force



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