July 20 - Syrian opposition members in Turkey say the National Salvation Movement will unify Syria and prevent sectarian war. Meanwhile, thousands turn out for a demonstration supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Nick Rowlands reports.
At a news conference in Istanbul on Wednesday, exiled Syrian opposition leaders vow to work with all groups to prevent an outbreak of sectarian violence. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF SYRIAN OPPOSITION, FIDA AL MECZUP: "We will work always for a unity in the Syrian nation." The broad-based council hopes to form a government-in-waiting in the hope street protests succeed in toppling President Bashar al-Assad, and says protecting the Syrian people is its priority. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF SYRIAN OPPOSITION, FIDA AL MECZUP: "All our efforts is to protect them and look after their needs." Meanwhile, Syrian TV reported that thousands took to the streets of Suweyda in support of Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YOUNG SUPPORT OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD: "We must defend our country and prevent conspirators from destroying our nation. God, Syria and Bashar only." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEMALE SUPPORTER OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD: "We salute our Syrian military, our security and we tell them all of us in Suweyda stand by you: women, children and men. Long live the military and long live the President." This Syrian flag is 2,300 metres long, according to state TV. Syrian authorities blame "armed terrorist groups" for the violence in the country, and say at least 500 policemen and soldiers have been killed since March. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.