Syrian Activists Announce Opposition Council

Today, Syrian activists announced a national opposition council in Istanbul, Turkey. The activists overcame divisions that had hampered formation of the council, comprised of 140 opposition figures from different political and ethnic backgrounds. Sixty percent of the council lives inside Syria and the rest come from the exiled diaspora. Activists named 70 members, but didn’t reveal most of the internal members because of security concerns. Members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood were reportedly among the membership. One member told Reuters the council wouldn’t swear off foreign military intervention to protect demonstrators — with 2,600 dead so far, according to the U.N. — but the council remains focused for the meantime on forming itself and building diplomatic and economic pressure on the Assad regime.