ISTANBUL - Syrians should wage a campaign of civil disobedience to try to force President Bashar Assad from power, an exiled dissident said on Saturday at a meeting in Turkey aimed at forging a united opposition.
The opposition, divided between Islamists and liberals, is holding a "National Salvation Congress" to try to unite behind the goal of ending 41 years of Assad family rule, but is struggling to agree on whether to form a shadow government.
"I'm for anything that unifies the Syrian people and helps our people inside, and unifies our ranks in confronting this illegitimate repressive regime that has usurped power and human rights," opposition figure Wael Hafez told the meeting in Istanbul.
"We want to raise the intensity of the peaceful confrontation by civil disobedience and to choke the regime economically and paralyze the state with the least damage."
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