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MENAFN - Arab News - 04/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Details emerged yesterday of plans to reshape Syria's opposition into a representative government-in-exile, on the eve of key talks between regime opponents.

The talks starting today in Doha come amid US criticism of the main exiled opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this week was not representative.

Reports have emerged that Washington is pressing for an overhaul of the opposition, with long-time dissident Riad Seif touted as the potential head of a new government-in-exile dubbed the Syrian National Initiative.

Seif and about two dozen other leading opposition figures gathered in Jordan's capital Amman this week and came up with proposals for a new body to represent the disparate groups opposing President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile, Syrian fighters launched a dawn assault yesterday on a strategic airbase in the north of the country, trying to disrupt strikes by warplanes and helicopters that pound rebel-held towns.

Rebel forces attacked the Taftanaz air base early yesterday morning in fighting with government forces that continued into the afternoon, the anti-regime activist Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Joining Syrian rebels in the attack were fighters from Jabhat Al-Nusra, a group made up of foreign fighters, according to the Observatory. Online activist videos claim to show the battle, with rebels firing rockets and mortars, and smoke rising over buildings and an airstrip area.

 






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