Syrian opposition sets up military council
The Syrian opposition on Thursday formed a military council in charge of organizing and coordinating the armed rebellion in the country under a unified command, said Thursday Bourhan Ghalioun, head of the Syrian National Council (SNC). "The creation of a military council has been endorsed by all armed forces in Syria," he told a press conference in Paris.
"It will be like a Ministry of Defense," he added.
The SNC has been criticized by some Syrian groups for not openly supporting the armed opposition, led by the free Syrian Army.
Ghalioun explained that the movement for democracy in Syria, born in the wake of the "Arab Spring", has remained peaceful for months, but due to the fierce repression of the Syrian regime it had to establish a council military.
According to a statement issued by the SNC, the new military council was created because "the latest developments in the field (...) and the need to strengthen the capacity of the free Syrian Army ".
On the ground, there were conflicting reports on the situation in the opposition stronghold in Homs. The Syrian army controlled Thursday almost all the rebel district of Baba Amr in Homs, a Syrian security source said. However, this information was refuted by anti-regime activists
"The army controls 90% of Baba Amr and many rebels fled to Lebanon. There are still pockets of resistance, including in Soultaniye, a neighborhood south of Baba Amr," the source close to the regime told AFP.
Battles took place in the snow that hit the city and other parts of Syria Wednesday night.
Moreover, the Syrian television showed footages Wednesday it said from Baba Amr and where young people complained about acts of "armed men".
However, activists have claimed that the rebels have so far managed to repel the assault of the army in Baba Amr.
"The free Syrian Army has succeeded in stopping the attempted assault on Baba Amr, and it still resists," Hadi Abdullah, a local activist of the General Committee of the Syrian revolution, told AFP.