Syrian opposition coalition to base in Cairo

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iol pic wld  Mideast Syria Opposition Leaders AP Syrian opposition figure and prominent Syrian human rights activist Haytham al-Maleh, left, congratulates Muslim cleric Mouaz al-Khatib after he was elected president of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, in Doha.

Cairo -

The newly created National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has chosen Cairo to be its base, a member of the alliance said in remarks published on Thursday.

“The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has put all resources at the disposal of the coalition and the site of the headquarters has been specified,” Moatez Shaqlab told Egypt's state-owned newspaper Al Ahram.

The coalition, aimed at unifying opposition ranks against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, is to meet in Cairo later in November, Shaqlab added.

The coalition is expected to establish a provisional government to manage rebel-held areas inside Syria and handle the opposition's international contacts.

In Syria, al-Assad's troops on Thursday launched air and ground assaults on restive suburban areas of the capital Damascus, killing at least five people, said opposition activists.

“The regime planes dropped dozens of bombs on the area of al-Hajjar al-Aswad. Some of them were cluster bombs,” Haytham al-Abdullah, a Damascus-based activists, told dpa.

State television reported that the Syrian army has started “purging” al-Hajar al-Aswad, from “terrorists” - a term used by the government to refer to opposition fighters. - Sapa-dpa

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