3 Dec 2011

Syrian opposition agrees on united front.

11:45 am on 3 December 2011

The main opposition group in Syria has struck a deal with insurgents calling themselves the Free Syrian Army to work together against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Leaders of the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army made the announcement following a meeting in Turkey.

A BBC correspondent there says it is an important declaration by the two most prominent groups in the Syrian opposition movement.

Formed three months ago, the Syrian National Council aims to include all the different elements fighting against the Assad government.

However, defectors who formed the Free Syrian Army presented a dilemma because the council is committed to a non-violent struggle while FSA fighters have launched a number of bold attacks on government forces.

The council says the insurgents have now promised to use force only to protect civilians.

The two groups have promised to coordinated their future actions more closely through a new joint committee.