May 13 - Syria's fractious opposition gathers for talks in Italy to decide on its own leadership and shore up its credibility at home and abroad. Paul Chapman reports.
Syria's opposition leader arrives in Rome for talks the umbrella group opposed to President Bashar al-Assad hopes will bolster its credibility at home and abroad. Burhan Ghalioun and the Syrian National Council are holding three days of negotiations also intended to decide on its leadership. Ghalioun's been its president since the group was launched in exile last August. But the Paris-based academic's been criticised for being out of touch with the opposition inside Syria and failing to unify the various factions. Inside Syria video from a social media website appears to show the cost of continuing violence despite the ceasefire declared a month ago. The video appears to be of a funeral for four people in a district of Damascus on Friday. How they died isn't clear. Reuters isn't able to independently verify the content of the footage. Other social media website video purports to show residents in part of Aleppo chanting as United Nations monitors arrived. The monitors appear to be taking photos and inspecting buildings said to have been damaged in the conflict. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday there was only a narrow window to avert full-scale civil war in Syria. Paul Chapman, Reuters