Syria’s “internal opposition” is planning, with Russia’s support, to set up a coalition of opposition groups next month to counter the Syrian National Council (SNC).

More than 30 opposition groups will meet in Italy on December 17-18 “to unite all opposition groups”, Heisam Manaa, coordinator of the National Coordinating Committee for Democratic Change (NCC) abroad, said after meeting Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov here on Thursday.

A delegation of the NCC, led by general coordinator Hassan Abdelazim, is in Moscow for talks with Russian officials and the Syrian diaspora in Russia.

Plans to set up an NCC-led coalition of Syrian opposition were announced as the SNC, backed by Arab and Western countries, met in Cairo to discuss forming a transitional government.

Against armed struggle

In contrast to the SNC, the NCC is opposed to armed struggle against President Bashar Assad and favours peaceful change of the regime.

“The NCC delegation asked Russia to help stop the bombings of cities by Syrian government forces.

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