Syrian opposition to pressure UN against aid to Assad regime

The Syrian National Coalition was set up in Nov in a bid to unify opposition forces fighting Assad’s regime
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First Published: Tue, Jan 22 2013. 01 12 PM IST
A file photo of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AFP
A file photo of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AFP
Beirut: The opposition Syrian National Coalition said on Monday following talks in Istanbul that it would pressure the UN to stop the delivery of any form of aid to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“The participants decided to form a committee to move diplomatically and pressure the United Nations to stop delivery of any aid, approved under a plan to respond to Syria humanitarian needs last month, to the official Syrian institutions,” it said.
The statement came as the UN explored a major humanitarian operation in the war-torn country, with its mission to Syria describing the need as “enormous”, having found people in dire need of medical and food aid.
During a two-day general assembly meeting in the Turkish capital, attended by over 60 delegates, the Syrian National Coalition was briefed by Free Syrian Army chief of staff General Salim Idris on developments on the ground.
Committees were formed to tackle a number of pressing issues, including ongoing hostilities between Kurdish residents of Ras Al-Ain and Islamist rebels and delivering $250,000 in emergency aid to the embattled town of Daraya.
Other committees are to focus on refugees from the conflict, rehabilitation for the wounded and border security.
The general assembly, which meets on a monthly basis, said it would act soon on a decision to form an interim government to manage areas “liberated” by rebel fighters.
The Coalition will “form a committee to communicate with political and revolutionary forces inside Syria, and with international organisations and governments to assure support for the interim government,” it said, adding that a final decision would be taken in 10 days.
The Syrian National Coalition was set up in November in a bid to unify opposition forces fighting Assad’s regime, a 22-month revolt in which more than 60,000 people have been killed.
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First Published: Tue, Jan 22 2013. 01 12 PM IST
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