Syrian rebels form ‘Revolutionary Military Council’ in Homs
A colonel from the Free Syrian Army announced the formation of the “Revolutionary Military Council” in the central city of Homs in a video uploaded to YouTube.
In the video, the colonel, Fatih Fahd Hasoon, announced the formation of the council which he said would unify all FSA brigades in the central Syrian province.
Colonel Hasoon vowed the Homs council would to “free Syria from the brutal gangs of Assad’s regime,” and named himself as new council’s leader.
Late August, Syrian opposition forces in the northern province of Aleppo also declared the formation of a “Revolutionary Transitional Council” to serve as an umbrella for all the ragtag opposition groups battling to bring down Assad’s regime.
Syrian opposition forces have long been criticized for being divisive and not unified, as Western nations have pressed Syrian opposition members to be prepared to be ready to fill the void if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime collapses.
Syria’s main opposition pleads for help
Meanwhile, as Syria’s army bulldozed houses in western Damascus in what activists described as “collective punishment” of Sunni anti-regime areas,
Syria’s main opposition group, called for urgent supply of arms and military intervention to defend civilians from bombardments Assad’s army.
Bulldozers backed by combat troops demolished buildings in the poor Tawahin district, near the Damascus-Beirut highway, activists and residents said.
“We need a humanitarian intervention and we are asking for military intervention for the Syrian civilians,” Syrian National Council (SNC) leader Abdel Basset Sayda said after meeting Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
“I have the duty of asking for weapons that will allow us to defend against the Syrian armor and weapons that are killing civilians all the time,” he told a joint news conference.
Sayda said the Syrian conflict had now killed 30,000 people and forced millions from their homes, including more than three million internal refugees and 250,000 who had fled the country. Another 100,000 had been detained.
“Every day we have dozens of martyrs and hundreds of wounded and disappeared,” he said in Arabic, addressing journalists through a translator.
“We are seeking very quick action by the international community,” he said.
Syria’s opposition believed the European Union could persuade Russia to change its posture at the U.N. Security Council so as to establish safe havens for refugees, Sayda said.
Russia, an ally of the Assad regime, and the Security Council’s other veto-wielding members have failed to reach agreement on a proposal to set up protected enclaves for displaced civilians, which would imply authorizing a highly controversial protective military operation.
Following criticism that the SNC was not sufficiently representative, Sayda vowed to call a national dialogue so as to forge a unified position on a post-Assad transition to democracy.
“Syria is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional country and everyone will have a part in its future. We want everything to be organized according to this principle,” he said.
A spokesman for the SNC told AFP on Sunday that the group had agreed to expand its membership and would hold a vote later in September to elect its leadership.
Sayda’s mandate, which was due to expire on September 9, had been extended until the leadership vote, he said.