Syrian opposition leader criticizes US

On Monday, French President François Hollande urged the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, which he said Paris would recognize.

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The Obama administration, however, declined to endorse Hollande’s call.

“Our call to the Syrian opposition has been to coordinate more closely the work of those Syrians outside Syria and those Syrians inside Syria, first of all to endorse the transition plan that is already on the table,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday. “So that’s a first order of business, for them to all agree on what a transition ought to look like.”

Seida said that the comments from the Obama administration show that the international community is “not ready” to be decisive in Syria and is trying to place the blame for its inaction on the opposition.

The Obama administration has been criticized by Republican hawks in Congress for not doing more to intervene in Syria, including taking steps such as arming the rebels or establishing no-fly zones.

Fighting in Syria continues to rage on, with Assad’s forces bombarding suburbs in Damascus and Aleppo with air attacks. The death toll in Syria since the conflict began 17 months ago has been estimated at more than 20,000.

A car bomb in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana killed 12 people Tuesday, according to Syria’s state news agency, the third bombing in the suburb in the past day.

The AP reported in Damascus that military helicopters dropped leaflets over the city urging rebel fighters to hand over their weapons or face “inevitable death.”