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Syrian opposition moves to elect leaders

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Syrian opposition moves to elect leaders


Exiled Syrians were meeting in Istanbul on Saturday in an attempt to elect a group of leaders to represent their interests despite a renewed government crackdown on dissent at home.

In the Syrian capital Damascus, a similar meeting of opposition figures was cancelled following deadly clashes between government troops and protesters on Friday.

Syrian opposition member Adib Shishakly, who is attending the meeting in Turkey, told euronews that despite the cancellation, the two groups are working together for the same outcome.

“We are hoping to come out with a committee that would represent the Syrian people on the outside and the inside as well.”

On Friday, 32 civilians were killed by security forces, including 23 people in Damascus, as hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy supporters took to the streets all over the country.

Observers says the strength of the protests in the capital, which up till now has been relatively quiet, signals a huge shift away from support for President Bashal al-Assad’s Baath party which has ruled the country for 40 years.

The Syrian government has been condemned by the international community for the way its attempted to crush demonstrations over the last four months.

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