Syria's non-violent opposition groups seek end of fighting

AFP , Tuesday 28 Aug 2012

A meeting of 20 opposition groups opposing the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council call for ending violence between the armed groups and the regime

Some 20 non-violent Syrian opposition parties and movements said in a meeting in Damascus on Tuesday that they seek to establish a democratic regime without resorting to arms.

"We are faced with two sides that use violence, but weapons only lead to attrition," said Raja Nassar, who coordinated the gathering.

Syria's 17-month uprising started off as a peaceful revolt, but was faced with such brutal repression that it turned into a bloody armed insurgency against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Opposed both to the regime and to the rebel Free Syrian Army, the movements said they were organising a conference in September to call for "democratic change that preserves the unity of the nation and social peace."

"The regime has unleashed almost all its force on the ground, and has been unable to defeat the armed opposition, which for its part has yet to win a single victory," veteran dissident Nasser told journalists.

The parties and movements taking part in the gathering are opposed to both the main opposition coalition -- the Syrian National Council -- and the FSA, which have consistently called for international intervention against the regime.

More than 25,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the revolt in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Short link: