The Syrian government battled increasing opposition as violence continued in the country. In a dramatic development, Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo was shot dead on Friday in the northern city of Qamishi. He was the spokesperson for the Kurdish Future Party and member of the Syrian National Council. In retaliation, the Council announced it would step up efforts to mobilize people and overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
International pressure also increased on the Syrian government with France expressing its intentions to establish relations with the council. French Foreign Minister Alan Juppe stated that his country welcomes the efforts of the opposition to organize. France is joined by Russia, which despite vetoing sanctions against Syria, showed support for the opposition by inviting their delegation for a visit. Russia also offered to host talks between the government and the Syrian National Council. Turkey has also joined in by imposing its own sanctions against Damascus.
Meanwhile, US Spokesman Jay Carney admonished the Syrian ruler to “step down now before taking his country farther down this very dangerous path.”