Syrian Opposition Groups United Against Assad Government

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Two of Syria's largest opposition groups are uniting to map out a path for the country's transition, should President Bashar al-Assad's government be toppled.

Representatives from the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, or NCB, signed an agreement late Friday in Cairo laying out the parameters for democratic rule if Mr. Assad is ousted by anti-government protesters.

The deal comes as unrest in Syria continues, despite the presence of Arab League observers monitoring the government's response to opposition protests.

On Friday, activists said Syrian forces killed at least 32 people, while monitors toured several regions. The Local Coordination Committee of Syria said most of the deaths occurred after forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in several locations.

The state-run SANA news agency says an Algerian media team visited Daraa on Saturday and “affirmed that life in the city is normal.”

Meanwhile, amateur video posted online purportedly shows an Arab League observer in Daraa who says his team saw “snipers” with its “own eyes,” while visiting the flashpoint city, Friday.

Syrian authorities agreed to allow observers to monitor the situation in the country, under international pressure and threats of Arab sanctions. The plan requires the government to give the monitors freedom of movement except for sensitive military sites.

The United Nations estimates 5,000 people have been killed since March in violence linked to Syria's unrest. Syria says armed terrorists are driving the revolt. It accuses them of killing 2,000 security personnel since March.