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Syrians brainwashed at home

DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- With the opposition coordinating outside the country, there are some people in Syria who are brainwashed by the Baathist regime, an opponent said.

The United Nations estimates nearly 3,000 people were killed by Syrian forces since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began mid-March. Though initially peaceful, Western leaders have expressed concern that the situation could turn violent on both sides.

Aymen Abdel Nour, editor in chief of the Web site All4Syria, told al-Arabiya there are people in the country who are brainwashed into believing violence would get worse without Assad.

"The regime is playing sectarianism as a card, saying if the regime is toppled then Christians, Allawites and Druze will be killed," he said.

The Syrian opposition, during the weekend, coordinated its various wings by announcing the National Unity Council during meetings in Istanbul.

"The Syrian council is open to all Syrians," al-Arabiya quoted French sociology professor and leading opposition figure Burhan Ghilyon as saying. "It is an independent group personifying the sovereignty of the Syrian people in their struggle for liberty."

British Foreign Minister William Hague, during meetings last week in London with Syrian opposition leaders, said it was "vital" that the various Syrian opposition groups "unite and work together to define a shared vision for the future of Syria."

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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