Twenty months into the revolution against President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian opposition is finally receiving international recognition. Since forming a new unity coalition last month—officially called the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Force—the notoriously fractured rebels have made significant strides on the ground in Syria, overrunning military bases and pushing deep into Damascus. But they say rebel unification hinges on a steady supply of weapons to counter the Syrian Army’s airplane assaults—and they’re looking to the West for arms. “If there are no weapons, there’s no point to this,” Abdul Qader Saleh, one of the rebellion’s most famous fighters, told The Daily Beast. Western governments have long cited rebel infighting when arguing it’s too difficult and dangerous to arm them. But rebels say the U.S. shoulders much of the blame for disunity.
CALL TO ARMS Khalil Hamra / AP Photo