On the six month anniversary of Syria’s uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, members of the Syrian opposition met in Istanbul today to form a united Syrian National Council. The council is made up of 140 members, including dissidents who have been exiled and opponents living in Syria. Future TV reported today that the council’s objectives include maintaining the peaceful nature of the revolution, toppling Assad’s government within six months, and forming an interim government to establish a pluralistic, democratic state.
Earlier this week, the UN Human Rights Council appointed three experts to investigate the human rights abuses against civilians in Syria, including children. According to the UN, at least 2,600 people have died in the past six months of unrest that has swept Syria.
The opposition is mobilizing its supporters to participate in tomorrow’s protests on what is being called the “Friday of perseverance until the downfall of the regime.” Last Friday, Syrians participated in the “Friday of International Protections” with the hopes that the international community would step in to protect civilians. Russia, China, India, and Brazil continue to oppose the UN-imposed sanctions and foreign intervention in Syria. While the Obama administration and European leaders issued statements calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down on August 18, it is unlikely that protestors will get outside help they want, at least for now, according to the Economist.