As the mounting pressure from the international community continues against Syrian President Basar al-Assad, the country’s main opposition group and the Free Syrian Army rebels have brokered a deal to coordinate efforts against the authoritarian leader, according to media reports.
The first meeting between the Syrian National Council and FSA this week in Turkey led to an agreement to establish a coordinated response. “The council recognised the Free Syrian Army as a reality, while the army recognized the council as the political representative” of the opposition, SNC’s Khaled Khoja told the AFP.
The FSA has posed a dilemma to the Syria’s main opposition bloc, which urges non-violent tactics. Born out of Syrian army defectors, the FSA told GlobalPost in an exclusive interview it is their right to defend the Syrian people and that they will continue to attack the regime.
Assad’s violent crackdown against the eight-month uprising has killed more than 4,000 people, according to the UN.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, while reporting the figure at a news conference in Geneva on Thursday, also said she now considers Syria in a state of civil war.
“I have said that as soon as there were more and more defectors threatening to take up arms, I said this in August before the Security Council, there was going to be a civil war. At the moment that’s how I am characterizing this.”
Despite demands from Syria’s Arab neighbors and the rest of world to stop the violent crackdowns against protesters, Assad has showed no signs of relent.
As the European Union imposed new sanctions on Thursday against Damascus, Syrian troops attacked a village in the central city of Hama that killed six people. The sanctions come behind a recent string of economic sanctions from the EU, the Arab League and Turkey.