A POWERFUL joint Arab front for military intervention in Syria was being formed last night, as the Assad regime desperately fought to stave off calls for action.
President Bashar al-Assad announced an amnesty for crimes committed since the start of the uprising against his rule last March, saying offenders had until the end of January to turn themselves in.
Two previous amnesties had little effect, only spurring on the revolutionaries, who have since seized control of parts of major cities.
Mr Assad's attempts to mix such offers with a tough line on resistance, which he pledged in a speech last week, suggest he is floundering in the face of a continued build-up of powerful outside forces against him.
Brig Gen Mustafa Ahmed al-Sheikh, the most senior of his officers to defect, is in talks with the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council with the aim of announcing a new Syrian Military Council to coordinate armed resistance.
The United Nations has estimated that 400 people were killed by the regime in Syria in the first 10 days of the monitoring mission. (© Daily Telegraph, London)