News / Middle East

US Stops Short of Recognizing Syrian Opposition Coalition

Syrian refugees hang clothes at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, September 2, 2012.
Syrian refugees hang clothes at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, September 2, 2012.
VOA News
The United States has declined to fully recognize a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition, saying the group must first prove its worth after its predecessor was dogged by feuding and accusations of Islamist domination.

Fiscal year 2012/2013. Source: USAIDFiscal year 2012/2013. Source: USAID
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the formation of the coalition, which supersedes the widely discredited Syrian National Council, was an important step, but did not offer it full recognition or arms.

She also urged the new group - the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces - to support the commitments it made recently in Doha and start influencing events on the ground.

"So, good beginning, highly welcomed by us and others, and we want to see the steps taken that have been promised," said Clinton. "And we stand ready to assist this new opposition in standing itself up and representing the Syrian people to the regime and the international community."  

Syria denounced the organization, which it said had closed the door to a negotiated solution with President Bashar al-Assad.

France had fully recognized the new coalition of opposition groups on Tuesday becoming the first Western power to do so.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has also recognized the rebel group.

Clinton also announced the U.S. is providing $30 million in extra humanitarian aid for those affected by the Syrian conflict.

Clinton's remarks come as Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the fifth meeting of the Friends of the Syria will be held on November 30 in Tokyo. Japan will chair the meeting.

  • Syrian refugees try to cross the border fence from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain into Turkey during an air strike on Ras al-Ain, in the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, November 13, 2012.
  • Newly arrived Syrian refugees are seen at Ceylanpinar refugee camp, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, November 10, 2012.
  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family carries a plastic container over her head as she walks to fill it with water at a displaced camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 10, 2012.
  • People from the northern Syrian town Ras al-Ain attempt to cross into Turkey, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, November 13, 2012.
  • A Syrian family who fled from violence sits next to their belongings at a displaced camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 7, 2012.
  • A Syrian baby cries as he lays on a swing attached to a tree at a camp in the Syrian village Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, November 5, 2012.
  • A Syrian boy, who fled his home with his family due to fighting between government forces and rebels, plays near his tent at a refugee camp near the Turkish border, Azaz, Syria, October 7, 2012.
  • A Turkish police officer checks identification cards of Syrian men after they crossed from Syria to Turkey at the Akcakale border gate, October 4, 2012.
  • A Syrian man, who fled his home due to government shelling, holds his son at Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, hoping to cross to a refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town Azaz, September 12, 2012.
  • An elderly Syrian man, who fled his home due to fighting, takes refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town of Azaz, August 23, 2012.
  • A Syrian girl, who fled her home with her family due to violence, looks back while checking her laundry, at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing near the Syrian town of Azaz, August 26, 2012.
  • Syrian refugees walk through the Dumez refugee camp in Dahuk, northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, August 13, 2012.

In fresh fighting Wednesday, Syrian troops used aircraft and artillery in an attempt to dislodge rebels from a town next to the border with Turkey. Ankara scrambled fighter jets to its southeastern frontier in response to the renewed Syrian air assault of the rebel-held frontier town of Ras al-Ain.

President Assad's air force has been bombing the area for days, trying to dislodge anti-Assad rebels who overran the town last week during an advance into Syria's mixed Arab and Kurdish northeast.

Also Wednesday, Israel's defense minister said Syrian rebels have taken control of nearly all villages near the Israeli-held Golan Heights. Ehud Barak said Assad's forces were "displaying ever-diminishing efficiency."

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
November 15, 2012 8:25 AM
The Syrians don't want the rebels period. The rebels ate being forced on the Syrians.


by: Richard from: Orlando, Florida
November 14, 2012 10:20 AM
This is not fair...to allow your own people...my "fellow Americans" (regardless of age, race, religious belief etc.)...to go without. Let Europe take care of Europe and the same for the Middle East and the same for other parts of the world. {Just print more money...I guess} Sad, very sad.


by: ao1 from: united staes
November 14, 2012 8:31 AM
And those in NY without power get what?..........


by: Carlos .. from: US
November 14, 2012 5:37 AM
and Roosevelt did nothing about the mass murder of Jews by Nazis in Ukraine in 1941 .. it is cowardly and disgraceful .. President Obama said it in masterful words himself last year .. March 28, 2011, "when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians." www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/03/28/president-obama-s-speech-libya

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” (Except in an election year?)


“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different,” (Except in an election year)

“And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
I have been to Aleppo and never met a kinder people ..

President Clinton watched mass murder in Bosnia for a year .. waiting for the Kremlin to give him the OK to stop it .. finally he manned up to using force to stop the mass murder ..

Wasn't it someone named Obama who said "Never Again" ?

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