An opposition plan to set up a transitional Syrian government was Wednesday marred by divisions and infighting, as President Bashar al-Assad's forces pursued a massive offensive in Aleppo for a fifth day dpa reported
The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), Riad al-Asaad, criticized the proposed alliance and called its leaders "opportunists who are dividing the opposition."
Veteran activist Haytham al-Maleh on Tuesday said a new opposition alliance had tasked him with forming a transitional government-in-exile.
After a Cairo meeting of the new group, called the Commission of Trustees of the Revolution, on Tuesday, al-Maleh, a former judge, said he would "carry out discussions with all elements of the opposition."
But Abdel Basset Sayda, head of the influential opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), said, "This step is unnecessary. We hoped that our brothers had discussed it with us beforehand."
Members of the new alliance say it aims to provide a political alternative to al-Assad, whose regime has been crushing an anti-government uprising since March 2011.
The new alliance comes as the Istanbul-based SNC is also believed to be in talks to form a transitional government to possibly lead the country in a post-al-Assad period.
Western and Arab nations have for months urged opposition groups to unite, as deep divisions have so far limited their ability to engage effectively with potential foreign allies.
Meanwhile, regime troops stepped up a military campaign to drive rebels out of Aleppo, the country's commercial hub.
Abu Omar al-Halabi, an FSA commander, said that al-Assad's forces were unable to advance into the rebel-held areas in Aleppo despite overnight shelling attacks.
"Our fighters are engaged in fierce battles. They foiled two overnight attempts by the regime troops to enter the (rebel-held) district of Salaheddine (in southern Aleppo)," al-Halabi told dpa.
At least 140 people were killed Tuesday across Syria, including 56 government soldiers, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The battle in Aleppo could decide the course of the 17-month conflict.