Inside Syria: Opposition Claim They 'Can Win'
10:06am 1st July 2011
(Updated 12:02pm 2nd July 2011)
Opposition leaders in Syria have told Sky News they believe they can win the fight for the country's future.
On the 15th Friday since the uprising began, the Local Coordinating Committees for Syria (LCCS) said they had finally broken the fear factor of holding demonstrations, despite intimidation from the authorities.
Setting out their demands in detail for the first time, this opposition group told me their struggle would not stop until they had won freedom and dignity for the people of Syria, stopped injustice and corruption, and ended one-party rule.
The LCCS is an underground network that links up the various protest movements across the country.
They said President Bashar al Assad must stop the violence against his own people and withdraw his army from the cities, before there can be any talks.
To show their determination, the LCCS told me: "We Syrians took an oath at the beginning of the uprising that we will peacefully protest till we topple the regime."
This came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned the Syrian government they were "running out of time" and would increasingly face organised opposition unless they undertake reform.
Speaking in Vilnius, Mrs Clinton said the Syrian government's decision to allow just one opposition meeting was not sufficient.
Also, to offer consultations in Damascus - while pursuing a tank offensive in the north - was a contradiction.
In what appeared to be a direct reference to Robert Nisbet's exclusive report from Aleppo, Mrs Clinton said she was disheartened by the continued violence "where demonstrators have been beaten, attacked with knives by government-organised groups and security forces".
The Syrian opposition network in touch with Sky News insisted most of the violence had been carried out by government security forces and those they described as "thugs".
I asked them about the Syrian government claims that secretive "armed gangs of extremists" were behind the killings.
The opposition pointed out that the violence didn't start until after the protest movement got under way.
They said the government had not yet shown proof of these so-called gangs.
"People are now sick of how the regime controls everything about their life," the LCCS told me.
"That's why we now have no choice but go on with our revolution and we believe that yes, we can win this struggle.
"Not only because we have a strong will, but because we know that freedom is one of our rights that we should have had a long time ago."