In the past week, Syrian opposition groups have issued two contrasting appeals to the international community. On Saturday 28 July, the Syrian National Council demanded new and better weaponry for the insurgents battling the Bashar al-Assad regime. “We want weapons that would stop tanks and jet fighters,” SNC chief Abdul-Basset Sieda told a news conference in Abu Dhabi. Two days earlier, at the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, representatives of 10 opposition organisations asked the world to assist Syria in another way: forcing both sides to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Their joint statement concluded: “We cannot accept Syria being transformed into a theatre of regional and international conflict. We believe the international community has the strength and the necessary ability to find a consensus that would be the basis of a political solution to the current dramatic crisis, based on the imposition of a ceasefire, the withdrawal of the military, the release of detainees and the kidnapped, the return of refugees, emergency assistance for the victims, a real global negotiation that excludes no one and a process that would be completed with real national reconciliation based on justice”.
Read the rest of the article in Charles Glass’s new e-book The State of Syria: Past, Present and Future.