Syrian Opposition Signs Unity Deal

    A member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) looks at the valley in the village of Ain al-Baida, in the Idlib province of Syria, not far from the Turkish border, on December 15, 2011. A rebel group of Syrian defectors reportedly took position against the Syrian Army along the Turkish border. Army defectors killed at least eight Syrian troops on December 14 in an act of revenge after security forces shot dead five civilians, activists said, in the second such insurgent attack in as many days. "At least eight soldiers were killed in an ambush on four military jeeps travelling in the village of Al-Asharna on the outskirts of (the central city of) Hama," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  The violence comes amid diplomatic wrangling, as Western nations seek tough action against Syria at the UN Security Council, where the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has support from his veto-wielding ally Russia. AFP PHOTO / ENN - SEZAYI ERKEN = RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS (Photo credit should read SEZAYI ERKEN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Sezayi Erken, AFP / Getty Images

    Various factions from Syria’s opposition had been in talks in Doha, Qatar, this week with little in the way of results, until a tentative agreement was signed Sunday mandating an umbrella coalition. This organization will help the movement see foreign military aid and diplomatic recognition and bring legitimacy to the fighters. “Today in Doha is the first time the different factions of the Syrian opposition are united in one body,” said Riyad Farid Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister. The president of the newly minted National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, a respected national figure in the country.

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