Is it time to recognize a provisional government in Syria?

France's president, Francois Hollande, wants Syrian rebels to merge under one banner to present a united front against President Bashar al-Assad's regime

Civilians flee from Aleppo's Bab al-Nayrab district Aug. 27: If the Syrian rebels can unite, France will recognize it as a provisional government.
(Image credit: REUTERS/Zain Karam)

French President Francois Hollande is urging Syrian opposition groups to band together and form a provisional government, saying it's the best way to bring the country's deadly 18-month conflict to an end. Civilians are facing some of the fiercest attacks yet by government fighter planes on the outskirts of Damascus, and rising numbers of refugees are trying to escape the violence by fleeing to neighboring Turkey. Hollande said Monday that giving the international community a credible alternative government to rally behind would ratchet up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave. Would it really help stop the fighting? A closer look at the proposal:

What does Hollande want rebels to do?

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