Syrian opposition leaders have been meeting this week to tap new leadership after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pronounced the Syrian National Council a failure last month. To win foreign confidence and aid, the opposition is trying to expand and reorganize its ranks.
Meanwhile, the rebels are losing support from the public. As the violence drags on, accusations of sloppy execution of their missions, senseless destruction, criminality, brutality, and extremism are mounting against the rebels. Syrian President Assad described the conflict as "terrorism through proxies" – referring to foreign support of the rebellion against his regime. In an interview with Russia Today, he also insisted yet again that he won't step down. "I'm not puppet," he said. "I'm Syrian. I was made in Syria, I have to live and die in Syria."Twenty months into what is now a civil war, 40,000 people are dead, and overnight more than 5,000 Syrians crossed in to Turkey fleeing violence. Amr Al-Azm, member of the Syrian opposition and a professor at Shawnee State University, explains what's at stake for the opposition at this juncture.