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Can Syria's opposition groups figure out how to pull together? (+video)

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Whether either effort can bring more unity to Syria's opposition groups is unclear.

"It is truly a challenge," says Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian analyst at the National Defense University in Washington, who says he resigned from the SNC in recent days because its expansion plans could exacerbate Syria's problems.

"In order to have revolutionary-scale change, you need an opposition movement that is strongly disciplined, that is organized hierarchically," argues Mr. Jouejati. "But the nature of this is that the SNC – or any opposition coalition – is going to [have] different people, different views, and different ideologies.

"What the revolution needs, of course, is to include those military forces on the ground that are doing the revolution, [but] at the top there needs to be a centralization, so when the top takes decisions, the entire body acts accordingly," he adds.

Hard to develop chain of command

Such a command chain has been impossible to establish, despite a year of effort. Even defecting Syrian Army commanders based in Turkey, for example, have been unable to boast of having the real loyalty of those on the ground who fight in the name of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or other anti-regime militias.

The UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, warned of the risks of continued carnage, and said the focus is now on getting a binding decision by the UN Security Council to start a political process.

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