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Anti-Assad Coalition

11:34 AM, Oct 11, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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CNN reports that a new anti-Assad coalition is forming: 

International powers put more heat on Syria's government Tuesday, as a new umbrella opposition group gained key backers in the Arab world and China exhorted the government to respond to people's "reasonable" demands.

The developments come amid a seven-month government crackdown against protesters, an ongoing operation that has stirred condemnation across the world.

It is a little odd to hear the Chinese and Russians complain about human rights abuses in Syria, especially after they vetoed an anti-Assad resolution last week at the U.N. Security Council: 

On Tuesday, China exhorted the government to react properly to calls for change.

"We believe the Syrian government should respond to people's reasonable expectations and appeals, and resolve the issues through dialogue and consultations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.

Last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said his country wants an end to the bloodshed and is calling for the regime to implement changes, state-run RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"If the Syrian leadership is unable to complete such reforms, it will have to go, but this decision should be made not by NATO and certain European countries, it should be made by the people of Syria and the government of Syria," Medvedev told the Russian Security Council.

Yet the worst news in the CNN piece is this: 

The United Nations estimates that 2,900 people have been killed. Activist groups have said the toll exceeds 3,000. 

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