Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Syrian opposition leader requests anti-aircraft weapons  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 08/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) Ahmad Jarba on Wednesday stressed the need for more sophisticated weaponry to combat the Syrian air force which "burns and bombards civilians on a daily basis." Speaking through a translator at the US Institute for Peace, Jarba said the only way to move forward with a political process and engage the regime of Bashar Al-Assad is by gaining leverage on the battlefield - but this has become increasingly difficult as the regime's air raids intensify.

"We need to eliminate the burning barrels that fall on our people," he said. "We need efficient weapons in order to try and face the air raids and other regime attacks to change the balance of forces on the ground." "The air force makes the life of Syrians a nightmare," he added.

Jarba is on his first visit to Washington, an eight-day trip that involves meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and officials at the Department of State. He expressed his gratitude to the Obama Administration for its support of the SOC as well as the Syrian people, and gave assurances that any transfers of new, complex armaments from the U.S. to the Free Syrian Army will not fall into the wrong hands. "We do not want lots of weapons in an unorganized way," he said. "We need efficient weapons in the right hands, the hands of professionals, and we commit to keep them in the right hands." "This is the only way to bring back stability," he added.

Jarba also called on all foreign fighters to leave Syria, many of whom are affiliated with fringe groups and do not reflect the aspirations of Syrians, even if those groups are also fighting the regime, he observed.

"Now we have foreign ideas that are stranger[s] to Syrians," he said. "Syrians do not know terrorism." "Al-Qaeda now exists in Syria because the regime released [their members] from prison," he stated, claiming that these are the same operatives that Al-Assad sent "to blow up American soldiers on the streets of Baghdad." "Terrorism is the product of the regime," he continued. "There is strong cooperation between Bashar and ISIL." The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also referred to as ISIS, with the last 'S' denoting Al-Sham in Arabic, began as an Al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Syria and Iraq, but has since distanced itself from Al-Qaeda's central command.


Jarba insisted that the group is made up of foreign elements, and the Free Syrian Army has been fighting them on the ground while also being shelled by the regime from the skies. But despite the fall of Homs once again into the hands of Al-Assad earlier in the day, the FSA have had substantial victories, he argued.

"We liberated Hama and Idlib" from ISIL, Jarba proclaimed. "Our brothers in Deir Ez-Zor are fighting fierce battles against ISIL." "It's a common interest between us and the West, but it's also a Syrian national interested to be rid of ISIL," he added.

Another group he described as "extremist," the Al-Nusra Front, is fighting against the regime, but Jarba said the SOC does not "recognize or accept" them. The U.S. Department of State has designated the group, alongside ISIL, as a terrorist organization.

"Syrians are a moderate people," he noted. "We want all foreign militias to leave Syria." Jarba said the SOC has already requested the UN Security Council to issue a Chapter 7 binding resolution to have foreign forces withdrawn from the country, be they branches of Al-Qaeda, or Hezbollah and Iran loyalists, who are backing Al-Assad.

"Iran is a sponsor of Hezbollah and requested them to fight," he explained. "Hezbollah has no interest in Syria [otherwise]." Jarba pointed to Iran's refusal to agree to the conditions of Geneva I as indication that "Iran wants the crisis to go on." "We respect the Iranian people, who come from a great civilization, but we have a problem with their rulers and the Mullahs," he continued. "If Iran changes its position, we are open to any peaceful initiative." As a regime-mandated presidential election approaches on June 3, Jarba reiterated the SOC's stance that diplomacy is not possible while Al-Assad is in the running. "If we want to end this tragedy we must speak in one voice against the nomination of this criminal for the presidency and to open the door for a political solution where Bashar is not part of the equation, Bashar does not own Syria, we do not own Syria," he said.

"Syria is the property of all Syrians. We need an interim government to supervise new elections," he affirmed.

Jarba's remarks on Wednesday marked his first public speech in the U.S. He is expected to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.

 


Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)




  MENA News Headlines
 Feb 11 2016 - Qatar Airways to showcase 3 latest generation aircraft at Singapore Airshow 2016Gulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) tar Airways will be showcasing three state-of-the-art aircraft from its fast-growing fleet at the upcoming Singapore Airshow from February 16 to 18.The three-time 'Skytrax ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Ooredoo supports launch of WEF's Industry Gender Gap ReportGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a "disproportionately negative impact" on the economic prospects of women, although the emphasis on talent brought about by sweeping ...

 Feb 11 2016 - GWC wins 'Leading Domestic Logistics Service Provider 2016' awardGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar's leading logistics provider GWC has again been named the 'Leading Domestic Logistics Service Provider 2016' at the 'GIL Global Best Practices Awards' ceremony held in ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Qatar hotel, serviced apartments to reach '23,086 keys' by end of 2016, says expertGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Growth in Qatar's hotel and serviced apartment segment is forecast to climb 27% to reach a total of '23,086 keys' by the end of 2016, an industry expert from Colliers ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Qatar Airways ranked among world's most 'powerful brands'Gulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar Airways has been ranked as one of the world's "most valuable brands" for the first time, becoming the only Qatari company to be represented in the 2016 'Top 500' global ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Swiss bank UBS looks to address gender gap in pay review -sourcesSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) LONDON/NEW YORK, Jumada I 1, 1437, Feb 10, 2016, SPA - Swiss bank UBS AG is looking at the relative pay of men and women in its investment banking arm as part of its ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Joining project with EU to increase Jordan's positionMENAFN
(MENAFN) The EU and the Department of Lands and Survey (DLS) launched a USD 1.12mn twinning project planned at improving the technical and administrative capacities of the DLS.Accordingly, the ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Lanka to review deal with AirbusGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Sri Lanka will review a controversial deal reached by the previous administration to buy new Airbus aircraft despite huge losses at the national carrier, the prime minister said ...

 Feb 11 2016 - Turkey coastguard saves lone Syrian on sinking boatGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Turkey's coastguard said yesterday that it had rescued a Syrian who clung on alone for several hours to a sinking boat for his life after it went down while seeking to cross the ...

 Feb 11 2016 - World's top scientists pledge to share all findings to fight ZikaSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) LONDON, Jumada I 1, 1437, Feb 10, 2016, SPA - Thirty of the world's leading scientific research institutions, journals and funders pledged on Wednesday to share for ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help