Leader of the Syrian National Council (SNC) Abdel Basset Sayda
Leader of the Syrian National Council (SNC), Abdel Basset Sayda, speaks on June 10 in Istanbul. The new leader of Syria's exiled opposition called on embattled President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to his deputy Faruq al-Shara. © Saygin Serdaroglu - AFP/File
Leader of the Syrian National Council (SNC) Abdel Basset Sayda
AFP
Last updated: June 11, 2012

Opposition chief urges Assad to hand over to vice president

The new leader of Syria's exiled opposition called Monday on embattled President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to his deputy Faruq al-Shara, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Sayda claimed the Syrian leadership was losing its control of the country day by day, adding: "The regime is able to maintain its control only over a few streets (in Damascus)."

The Kurdish dissident was elected SNC leader at an Istanbul meeting Sunday, replacing Burhan Ghalioun who stepped down last month in the face of mounting divisions that were undermining the group's credibility.

Violence has intensified in Syria despite a truce that was supposed to take effect in April, with activists saying over 14,100 people had been killed since Damascus launched a crackdown on protests in March last year.

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