Syria opposition wants arms

The Syrian opposition on Tuesday told French senators that it wanted arms but no foreign intervention in Syria, a Senate committee said after a hearing.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 1:53 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:44 PM

“The delegation said it was disappointed by the global community’s lack of support and stressed the need for it to receive weapons to wage an effective fight, which isn’t currently possible,” the foreign affairs and defence committee said in a statement.

“It specified that it doesn’t want a foreign intervention in Syria and that what the Syrians are calling for is the right to arm themselves so they can defend themselves and put a rapid end to this awful situation.”

The United Nations says more than 60,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since March 2011, when peaceful protests morphed into an armed insurgency after a harsh regime crackdown.

The delegation to the senate was headed by two of the opposition coalition’s vice-presidents, long-time dissident Riad Seif and George Sabra, head of the Syrian National Council, the coalition’s main bloc.

The delegation reiterated that President Bashar al-Assad would need to leave for negotiations to begin towards establishing a transition process that would lead to free elections.

The opposition, which met with representatives of some 50 countries in Paris on Monday, said the coalition “now represents 85 percent of Syria’s opposition forces”.

Opposition members also met in Geneva on Monday and Tuesday, a Russian diplomatic source told AFP.

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