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No safe passage for Assad

Nissar Hoath / 30 July 2012

The Syrian National Council (SNC), opposition alliance, said on Sunday that they will block any move for a safe passage for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Abdul Basset Sieda, SNC president, said in Abu Dhabi that Assad will not be allowed to leave the country and will have to stand trial in Syria for his criminal acts.

“The Syrian nation will not allow Assad a safe passage to seek refuge or political asylum. He is a dictator, murderer and has to stand trial for his criminal acts. We will block all his moves for a safe passage,” said Sieda at a Press conference in the early hours on Sunday.

The opposition leader said Assad was responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 Syrians since the uprising began in March last year.

On the current situation in Aleppo, Sieda said: “Yesterday (Friday) about 200 innocent civilians, including women and children were martyred by the forces of Assad in Aleppo. Today (Saturday), 100 more people were martyred. The forces are using all kinds of heavy weapons, including gunship helicopters, fighter jets and tanks in Aleppo. However, they are facing stiff resistance from freedom fighters.”

The SNC leader said the freedom fighters, with the full support of masses, are advancing in many key cities and territories and gaining control over them. He said more people are joining the opposition and many key figures in the government, including diplomats, have been defecting and joining the forces of the people.

On when he expected the regime to fall, Sieda said it was difficult to determine a timeframe. “But their (Assad regime) popularity, particularly in major cities like Damascus and Aleppo, is fast declining. Thus the regime has to go”.

About an interim government, he said all the opposition groups, including Kurds, will be represented in the new order after the ouster of Assad.

Call for international support

He also urged that the international community must intervene and help stop the bloodshed of innocent Syrians at the hands of ‘brutal government forces’. “Our (SNC) allies would be responsible for the bloodshed if they do not act quickly to stop it,” he maintained.

Sieda further said intervention from the UN Security Council may not be fruitful as its moves could be vetoed by Russia and China.

“Any international effort, it has to be from outside the Security Council. We want the intervention through an Arab League initiative and through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly,” the opposition leader said. Sieda also said there was a dire need for financial aid to support and arm the uprising.

“To support the movement, every month we need $150 million for relief, to support rebels’ families and those affected by the war against the regime. We also need financial aid to support the fighters on the ground. We have asked the international community for their contribution, but unfortunately so far we have got only $15 million,” he said.

Kurdish roadmap

The SNC leader, who himself is a Kurd, said the situation in Kurdish territories is in a state of flux.

“Because of the new developments, SNC has formed a joint committee with the Kurdish National Council (KNC) for close cooperation and achieving a common goal –the ouster of Assad and the establishment of a government of the people,” he said.

Sieda further added under the SNC manifesto, all the rights of Kurds, particularly their national identity, will be fully recognised. “The Kurdish issue, including their territorial claims, will be recognised but within the framework of Syrian nation. Their national identity and political, economical and human rights will be recognised and respected when a peoples’ government is formed after the ouster of Assad,” he assured.





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