BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's main opposition group said Thursday it has formed a "military bureau" to organize and unify the armed resistance to the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian National Council has called for weapons for rebels in the past, but the announcement was the first time the country's main opposition group said it was seeking to organize the fighters.
The SNC made the announcement in a statement. The group also was holding a news conference in Paris.
The group says the government's crackdown on the country's uprising has forced Syrians "to bear arms in self-defense."
At the start of the Syrian revolt nearly a year ago, many protesters said they wanted to remain peaceful. But as the assault continued, an armed insurgency comprised largely of defectors from the military has developed to fight the regime.