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Refugee flow soars as Syrians flee intense fighting between rebels, Assad forces

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There is no appetite among the American people … for U.S. military intervention in Syria. That reluctance is sensible. Painful as it is to observe the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians in the war between President Bashar Assad and insurgents inspired by the Arab Spring, the deployment of U.S. troops or a campaign of airstrikes under the rubric of a no-fly zone would enmesh the United States in an unpredictable conflict with a heavily armed ally of Iran on behalf of a fractious and fragmented rebel army. Even providing weapons to the rebels at this point would entail unacceptable risks that they would flow to Islamic extremists.

However, in his interview, Assad noted that if the West did militarily intervene, “nobody can tell what is next.”

Many are looking to Syrian opposition groups to take on a more unified role in the face of Syria’s devastating violence, and help to play an active role in resolving the conflict.

Opposition leaders have been meeting in Qatar this week to bring together Syria’s internal and exiled opposition. The Syrian National Council (SNC) has been the most prominent opposition group, but has come under fire because of both its fractured state and the fact that most of its leaders are located outside of the violence-torn country.

The SNC is expected to elect new leadership today, before taking into consideration a role in the proposed Syrian National Initiative, in which it would have a minority role, reports the BBC.

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