A gathering of 16 Syrian groups opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad convened Sunday to demand that the ruler step down. In a rare meeting in Damascus, the opposition groups spoke under the banner of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria and sided with the armed rebels fighting Assad’s regime. The group said it backs the rebels’ goal of toppling Assad, 18 months into a civil war that has killed tens of thousands. The organization, which said it opposes violent action as well as military intervention from foreign countries, is advocating for a peaceful settlement and has called for an immediate ceasefire.
SYRIA AFP / GettyImages