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The former chief of the main opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, told AFP he visited Syria for few hours on Tuesday to “boost the morale” of rebels.

Ghalioun, who spoke to the news agency in Beirut by telephone after his first visit to Syria in more than two years, said he entered the country secretly, spending a few hours there during which he “met with rebels.”

“The visit was aimed at boosting the morale of rebels,” who are fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Ghalioun said after returning to neighboring Turkey.

The visit was mainly in support of the Syrian people who have been “killed, massacred and slaughtered” by regime forces.

The former SNC chief said he visited “several regions in the Idlib province” in northwest Syria near the border with Turkey.

“Of course there was some danger involved, because the shelling doesn’t stop but we took precautionary measures to avoid these dangers as much as possible,” he said .

“We toured several areas in Idlib … and saw the birth of a new Syria,” he said.

“The regime is very weak and has lost control on the ground,” he added.

Two weeks ago, Ghalioun and other Syrian opposition leaders met in Turkey in a bid to settle their differences and forge a united front to confront the escalating conflict in their homeland.

The meeting brought together various opposition factions including a Kurdish group and representatives from several Arab and Western countries which were also in Istanbul to observe the proceedings.

Ghalioun resigned as head of the SNC in May to avert divisions within the opposition bloc, after activists on the ground accused him of monopolizing power.

Earlier this month, the SNC named Kurdish activist Abdel Basset Sayda to replace Ghalioun in a bid to gain broader appeal that could embrace all groups.

The newly-elected head of the SNC said as he took office that his priority was to unify the opposition.

Al Arabiya

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