Syrian Opposition Groups Form United Front

Posted October 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian opposition groups have announced the creation of a national council to oppose the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The announcement came Sunday on the second day of a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Syrian National Council is designed to present a united front by including all Syrian opposition movements.

In Syria itself, the central town of Rastan is reported calm after several days of intense fighting between government forces and insurgents, including army defectors who have sided with the opposition.

Government forces regained control in the town, 180 kilometers north of Damascus, Saturday after units of the Syrian army, backed by tanks and helicopters, moved in.

During the six-month uprising against the Assad government, at least 2,700 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.

The government crackdown has provoked growing international condemnation. But Syria insists much of the deadly unrest is caused by what it describes as terrorist groups.