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Syria crisis: UN demands Valerie Amos let into country


The announcement in Paris by the Syrian National Council (SNC) that it is setting up a new "military bureau" to coordinate and funnel arms and support to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has exposed a glaring rift in opposition ranks.

SNC President Burhan Ghalioun, said that the commander of the FSA, Col Riyad al-Asaad, and Gen Mustafa al-Shaikh, who recently set up a "Supreme Military Council", were on board the project.

But Col Asaad told al-Jazeera that he had spoken to Mr Ghalioun the night before, that they had differed, and failed to reach agreement.

He said the FSA had its own military strategy, did not want political interference, and would not coordinate with the SNC and its new military bureau.

He had earlier criticised the SNC for failing to do anything practical to help people inside Syria. But with an Arab League resolution in January now providing political cover for countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar which want to arm the opposition, it's not clear why Col al-Asaad is rejecting the proffered largesse.

While it is very hard to assess the true strength of the FSA and the level of popular support it enjoys inside Syria, it is frequently named in slogans chanted at anti-regime demonstrations, and many activist videos posted on the internet have shown military defectors declaring their allegiance to the FSA.

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