Syria’s main opposition groups joined on Sunday in a meeting in Istanbul to form a united front against the Bashar al-Assad regime.
It calls itself the National Council, and has urged the international community to take action to protect the Syrian people, but rejects any foreign intervention that in its words “compromises Syrian sovereignty.”
“Any form of intervention must happen with the agreement of the National Council, which has been formed today. In this case, we will be cooperating with the international forces. We will not accept any intervention outside the framework,” said Council member Burhan Ghalioun.
France has recognised the National Council, which is also bringing together opposition groups within Syria.
Activists say between 15 and 20 civilians are dying every day now, and funerals, their associated protests and the repression that follows are an everyday sight on the streets around the country.
The government has released pictures it says are of civilians in Rastan celebrating the defeat of rebels and the return of government control after days of heavy fighting, the most sustained in the six months of revolt.
The pictures purport to show captured army deserters and weapons seized during the battle for the town.