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Syrian opposition leader calls for `means to fight` Assad

Last Updated: Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 00:25

Paris: Leader of the Syrian opposition Ahmad Jarba called on the "free world" to provide "the means to fight" the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and jihadist rebels, as the conflict entered its fourth year on Friday.

An article attributed to Jarba on the website of French newspaper Le Monde said: "Nothing and no one was able -- or willing -- to save the Syrian people, either from Assad`s missiles and bombs, or from torture and death in his dungeons, or from suffocation and asphyxiation by chemical weapons."

Despite the loss of 146,000 lives and the millions displaced, Jarba said Assad had "failed to crush the revolution" and "would never succeed".

He called on the international community to finally provide the military backing to oust the regime.

"The time has come for the free world to help the Syrians to escape their isolation. They should provide the means to fight Bashar al-Assad, and the jihadists that he has done so much to attract."

However, an English-language version of the article released the previous day, made no direct request for military support, a possible reflection of France`s greater willingness to engage in military operations in recent years.

France has intervened in Mali and Central African Republic in the past year, and supported direct strikes in Syria last summer following reports that Assad had used chemical weapons.

"Even if the international community (doesn`t) have a moral obligation to help the Syrian people, it must act to contain the catastrophe now seeping across every one of Syria`s borders, if only for its own interests", the English version concludes.

First Published: Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 00:25

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