Boasting his survival in the wake of Morsi’s ouster, Syrian President Bashar al-Assadtrumpetedthe opposition’s failure to dislodge his regime from power. In an interview with the pro-regime newspaper Al Thawra, Assad declared: “The countries that conspire against Syria have used up all their tools and they have nothing left except direct intervention.”  

His remarks coincided withthe Syrian National Coalition’s (SNC) meeting in Istanbul to elect a new coalition president and determine the composition of an interim government cabinet. Meanwhile, the siege of Homs enters its fifth day as Syrian government forces bombrebel positions in the city center and launch ground attacks against rebel-held neighborhoods to retake the strategically important city. On Friday, the SNC called on the United Nations and the West toratchet upsupport for opposition forces defending the Syrian city of Homs amidst a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Requestingthe immediate delivery of food and medicine to besieged rebels in the city, the SNC believes the battle of Homs represents a potentially decisive turning point in the conflict. – Mideast Foreign Policy