World

Syria's 2 main political opposition groups agree on 'roadmap' to end civil war

  • The President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Hadi al-Bahra, right, his Vice-President Hisham Marwah, 2nd right, together with members of the National Coordination Body Safwan Akkash, 2nd left, and Khalaf Dahowd address the media during a joint press conference at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    The President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Hadi al-Bahra, right, his Vice-President Hisham Marwah, 2nd right, together with members of the National Coordination Body Safwan Akkash, 2nd left, and Khalaf Dahowd address the media during a joint press conference at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • The President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Hadi al-Bahra, right, his Vice-President Hisham Marwah, 2nd right, together with members of the National Coordination Body Safwan Akkash, 2nd left, and Khalaf Dahowd address the media during a joint press conference at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    The President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Hadi al-Bahra, right, his Vice-President Hisham Marwah, 2nd right, together with members of the National Coordination Body Safwan Akkash, 2nd left, and Khalaf Dahowd address the media during a joint press conference at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • Vice-President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Hisham Marwah, addresses the media during a joint press conference of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces and National Coordination Body for the Forces of Democratic Change, at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Vice-President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Hisham Marwah, addresses the media during a joint press conference of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces and National Coordination Body for the Forces of Democratic Change, at the International Press Center in Brussels on Friday July 24, 2015. Syria's two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified "roadmap" for a political solution to the country's long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's two main political opposition groups, long at odds, have announced agreement on a "roadmap" to end their country's long-running civil war, starting with establishment of a transitional governing body.

Officials of the Syrian National Coalition and the National Coordination Body met Friday with reporters after meeting in Brussels.

One opposition official, Safwan Akkash, said it was the groups' shared responsibility to protect "Syrian blood."

The unified front could strengthen the opposition's hand in any future talks with the government of President Bashar Assad.

But the opposition groups, which have been trying for years to reach a common understanding, have been accused of being out of touch with the realities in Syria and have virtually no following among the myriad of rebel groups fighting on the ground.