Turkey hosts meeting of nations to back Syrian opposition, increase pressure on Assad

Associated Press

ISTANBUL - Dozens of countries are making another push to isolate the Syrian regime at a meeting in Istanbul that is expected to focus on encouraging Syria's opposition to unite and seeking ways to deliver humanitarian aid to beleaguered civilians.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is among those attending the "Friends of the Syrian People" conference Sunday. However, China, Russia and Iran are not at the meeting in a sign of global division over how to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

Activists reported fresh violence in Syria on Saturday. A peace plan by international envoy Kofi Annan has so far failed to take hold.

The United Nations estimates more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising to oust President Bashar Assad began a year ago.

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