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

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“I don’t want to go too far in pessimism, but the situation in Syria is very dangerous,” Mr. Brahimi told Al Hayat newspaper. “I believe that if the crisis is not solved in a right way, there will be the danger of Somalization. It will mean the fall of the state, rise of warlords and militias.”

Rebel forces have made gains, and even established a de facto buffer zone across northern Syria adjacent to the Turkey border. But they complain that lack of outside help – in the form of military equipment such as surface-to-air missiles and heavy weapons – has led to stalemate. Damascus enjoys close support from Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia, and has claimed to be under attack from "foreign-backed terrorists."

Supporters such as the US, Qatar, and especially Turkey have clandestinely provided light weapons, ammunition, and even antitank weapons to challenge Mr. Assad's armored units. But inside Syria, fighters frequently blame the US and other Western donors for their reluctance to give them decisive help – including creation of a no-fly zone – that they argue would shorten the war and lower the death toll. (The Monitor reported earlier on how attacks are tearing at the fabric of daily life.)

Some argue that the US may be expecting too much, too quickly, from a country where political expression has been heavily repressed.

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