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Syrian National Council launched as battles intensify

Syria’s opposition forces have formally established a united front for the first time at a meeting in Turkey on Sunday.

The formation of the Syrian National Council (SNC) represents a serious challenge to President Assad’s regime as it continues to crackdown on pro-democracy protests across the country.

A spokesman told AFP,

"The Syrian National Council reunites the forces of the opposition and the peaceful revolution...  it represents the Syrian revolution both inside and outside the country”.

Stating that the SNC was open to all Syrians, they went on to call on

"international organisations to assume their responsibility toward the Syrian people and to work to protect them from the war declared against them, to halt ... the dangerous human rights violations."

Meanwhile, pro-Assad forces have captured the town of Rastan after prolonged fighting between armed insurgents and the Syrian army.  The insurgents are thought to be led mainly by army defectors who refused to fire on pro-democracy protestors.

Activists claim that the Syrian army sent in 250 tanks in their offensive on Rastan as they claimed to capture the town from “armed terrorist gangs”.

A statement released by the insurgents said,

"Because of major reinforcements and the weapons used in Rastan by Assad's gangs... we have decided to withdraw in order to better wage the struggle for liberty."

See our earlier post: ‘Syrian armed resistance emerges as crackdown continues’ (Sep 2011)


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