The head of the Syrian opposition, Abdel Basset Sayda, urged officials to defect from President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Sayda, a Kurdish activist who was elected president of the Syrian National Council during a meeting in Istanbul on Saturday, added that Syria is entering a sensitive phase.

The regime is on its last legs, he said on Monday. The multiplying massacres and shellings show that it is struggling.

On Monday, the Free Syrian army said that soldiers whose hands are not tainted with blood should join the rebels. The FSA also called for civil disobedience and a general strike as the 15-month long crisis in Syria continues to unfold.