Mon, Jun 24, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Outgunned Syrian rebels given urgent aid lifeline

AFP, DOHA

The ministers also warned of the “increasing presence and growing radicalism” and “terrorist elements in Syria.”

Western powers have hesitated to arm the rebels for fear weapons would fall into the hands of radical elements among them, such as the powerful al-Nusra Front, which wants to establish an Islamic state in Syria.

PEACE TALKS

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani also voiced support for a peace conference, but insisted there could be no role in the future government for “Assad and aides with bloodstained hands.”

He accused al-Assad’s regime of wanting to block the Geneva conference in order to stay in power, “even if that costs 1 million dead, millions of displaced and refugees and the destruction of Syria and its partition.”

And the final communique stated that al-Assad “has no role in the transitional governing body or thereafter.”

On the ground, loyalist forces pressed a fierce four-day assault on rebel-held parts of Damascus, while insurgents launched a new attack on regime-controlled neighborhoods of second city Aleppo.

Saturday’s developments came as the Syrian military pushed on with its bid to end the insurgency in and around Homs in central Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They also come a day after at least 100 people were killed nationwide, it added.

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