Mar. 17 - Refugees continue to cross into Turkey while several Syrian opposition factions unite to form a new block.
Fleeing the violence in Syria. Syrian refugees continue to cross into Turkey. Around 15,600 registered Syrian refugees now live in tented camps inside Turkey. Turkey fears a surge of refugees similar to the tens of thousands who crossed from Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. On Friday Turkish officials said creating a "buffer zone" inside Syria was one of the options it was considering to protect fleeing civilians. In Istanbul, members of Syrian opposition groups announced a new coalition Saturday, exposing a rift among opponents of embattled President Bashar al-Assad. They say the new pact will not be in opposition to the Syrian National Council, but the accused the council of caring more of politics than the actual revolution on the ground. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF NATIONAL CHANGE MOVEMENT AMMAR QUARABI, SAYING: "We focus about the revolution and what the people, what the protesters need. We focus about that. We are now part of the revolution more than part of the opposition" Quarabi blamed Assad's regime for Saturday explosions in Damascus, claiming the aim was to scare the people from joining the opposition movement. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF NATIONAL CHANGE MOVEMENT AMMAR QUARABI, SAYING: "Bashar Assad really sends this message. 'If I leave Syria I will leave it destroyed without any infrastructure, no army, no companies' to scare the people and to make them accept the regime." Twin explosions in Damascus killed at least 27 people in Syrian capital. State TV blamed the rebels for the violence. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters