London Telegraph 
January 16, 2012
A powerful joint Arab front for military intervention in Syria was being formed on Sunday night, as the Assad regime desperately fought to stave off calls for action.
President Bashar al-Assad announced a general 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.
But two previous amnesty offers 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 continued resistance, which he pledged in a keynote speech last week, suggest he is floundering in the face of a continued build-up of outside forces against him.
Brigadier-General Mustafa Ahmed al-Sheikh, the most senior of his officers to defect, was in talks on Sunday with the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council prior to announcing a new Syrian Military Council to coordinate armed resistance.