3 Oct 2011

United front formed against Assad

1:38 pm on 3 October 2011

The opposition in Syria has announced it has formed a transitional council to present a united front against President Bashar al-Assad.

After a two-day meeting in Turkey, leaders said they had agreed on the aims and structure of the Syrian National Council, which was announced last month.

Their goal is to build a new democratic Syria.

Chairman Burhan Ghalioun said the council had succeeded in uniting opponents of Mr Assad both in and outside of Syria.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports government troops have retaken the central town of Rastan after days of fierce fighting. Rastan is 160km north of Damascus.

Foreign journalists are restricted from operating freely in Syria and reports cannot be independent verified.

At least 2700 people are believed to have been killed in six months of protests against Mr Assad.

The SNC says Syria is being driven to the edge of civil war.

The government has dismissed the opposition as a foreign conspiracy to sow sectarian strife.