Syrian rebel: Uprising hijacked by extremists

(CBS News) ANTAKYA, Turkey - On Monday, the White House said Bashar al-Assad's regime is crumbling from within. His prime minister -- on the job just two months -- defected to Jordan. He's the highest-ranking official to flee the country.

In the city of Homs, Assad's warplanes dropped bombs on residential neighborhoods. The fighting has entered a new phase.

In a new video, men crouching against a wall are about to be killed by an angry mob. Syrian opposition groups said the men who died were members of a family with links to the Assad regime.

The killers were rebels fighting in an increasingly chaotic conflict.

Human rights groups -- as well as the rebels' own leadership -- condemned the deaths as summary executions.

However, in a sprawling refugee camp on the Syria-Turkey border, Syrian refugees defended the killings. Many of the men there are rebel fighters.

"If we had a state, we could have taken those men to court," said Mohammad Hajhasan through a translator. "But we're in the middle of a revolution, and they were war criminals."

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Many in the camp said they feel abandoned by the U.S. and Europe.

"We want a democracy in Syria," Mohammad said. "But only if it's within an Islamic state."

Others disagree. Jamil Saeb, who led protests in Syria in the early days, said he wants a Western-style democracy, and claimed the uprising is being hijacked by Islamic extremists.

"The West isn't doing enough, and other countries like Saudi Arabia are pushing their Islamic agenda by giving the rebels financial support," Saeb said.

The Syrian opposition is divided, and there are fears that if and when the Assad regime falls there'll be continued violence between rival factions. That's one reason that the U.S. and its allies in the West are reluctant when it comes to giving military support to the Syrian opposition.

The danger is that militant groups will see the drawn-out conflict as an opportunity.

Internet videos show that foreign fighters from places like Libya are already inside Syria. Their presence will only add to the bloodshed as Syrians fight for control of their future.

  • Holly Williams

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