Rubbish is piled up along a street in Marat al-Numan, Syria
Rubbish is piled up along a street in Marat al-Numan, near Idlib, Syria

Two main Syrian opposition groups say they have a new weapon against the Assad regime: a "hotline".

The Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella group and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), made-up of deserters from the military, have jointly set up a hotline in a bid to better coordinate their anti-regime actions.

The group announced in a statement the establishment of a liaison office and of "a hotline to follow internal political developments on the ground."

The communiqué also said further meetings with military experts had been planned in an attempt "to strengthen the capacity of the SFA against regime forces and to protect civilian regions which the regime wants to raid or pillage."

The two opposition groups met over the week-end, with talks focusing on efforts to "restructure SFA units and create a modern and flexible structure ... to allow for rapid deployment" as defections are now rapidly increasing, according to the group.

The FSA claims to have up to 40,000 fighting against the regime.

The FSA also said it will step up anti-regime action despite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granting a general amnesty for anti-regime protesters accused of crimes by the regime.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood an internal opposition group has however branded the government's move as "neither serious nor credible."

"The regime is trying to make its unrealistic plans for reconciliation and national dialogue credible, and it is in this context that it is making such announcements, for propaganda purposes," the group added.

Releasing prisoners is one of the key conditions of an Arab League roadmap aiming at ending violence that was approved by Syria in November.