Syrian opposition urges U.S. congress to back military action

ISTANBUL Sun Sep 1, 2013 8:30am EDT

Free Syrian Army fighters get out of a vehicle beside the Canadian Hospital in Aleppo, August 31, 2013. REUTERS/Molhem Barakat

Free Syrian Army fighters get out of a vehicle beside the Canadian Hospital in Aleppo, August 31, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Molhem Barakat

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Syria's opposition called on Sunday on the U.S. congress to approve military action against President Bashar al-Assad and said any intervention should be accompanied with more arms for the rebels.

"Dictatorships like Iran and North Korea are watching closely to see how the free world responds to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people," the Syrian opposition coalition said in a statement issued in Istanbul.

"If the free world fails to respond to such an outrageous breach of international norms, dictators around the world will be encouraged in their efforts to follow the example set by Assad," it said.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday he would seek congressional consent before taking action against Damascus for its apparent use of chemical weapons, a move likely to delay an attack for at least 10 days.

The opposition said international inaction over the conflict in Syria, now in its third year, had emboldened Assad and allowed the violence to escalate.

"During the past two and half years, the democratic world has offered only condolences and promises while Assad's regime, supported by its allies in Iran and Russia, has been busy killing Syria's democratic hopes," the statement said.

"Any possible military action should be carried out in conjunction with an effort to arm the Free Syrian Army. This will be vital in restraining Assad and ending the killing and chaos he wants to spread throughout the region."

(Reporting by Nick Tattersall; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (29)
nose2066 wrote:
Just who is this Syrian opposition that is providing this statement to the news media? Previous news reports have suggested that there are dozens of splinter groups fighting against the government of Syria. It would be surprising if they could all agree on a statement. If the current government of Syria is removed, it is a certainty that the dozens of opposition groups will start fighting each other.

Sep 01, 2013 8:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Erikkc wrote:
Please don’t. Syria has not attacked us. Under international law, attacking a country, other than in self defense, is a crime.

Sep 01, 2013 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:
Bomb Assad back to the stone age in behalf of Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, and arm their fighters to the hilt. Former President and CIA genius Bush Sr. did the same for Mujaheddin and Taliban with real results to show for US involvement.

Sep 01, 2013 9:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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