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Syrian opposition seeking lethal aid from U.S.

The Syrian Opposition Coalition will meet with U.S. officials this week and request lethal aid, an opposition member told UPI. That aid will include a request for "an airforce to fight barrel bombs and scud missiles."
By JC Finley   |   May 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- Syrian Opposition Coalition representatives are in Washington for meetings with U.S. officials, where they will seek lethal aid, an opposition representative told UPI on Wednesday.

Syrian opposition President Ahmad Jarba, the representative said, "will ask for more weapons, specifically an airforce to fight barrel bombs and scud missiles."

The U.S. has condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for its violence against its own citizens.

In February, Secretary of State John Kerry called the regime's barrel bomb attacks on Aleppo "the latest barbaric act of a regime that has committed organized, wholesale torture, used chemical weapons, and is starving whole communities by blocking delivery of food to Syrian civilians in urgent need." Such attacks by the Syrian government "reminds the world of its true colors," Kerry reprimanded.

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington on Wednesday, Jarba underlined the opposition's need for lethal aid to counter the regime's attacks:

"We have a problem with air raids, forces and barrel bombs. We want weapons to neutralize the air force.

"... We need effective and efficient weapons. We commit to keep them in the right hands. We want a political solution."

President Jarba will also "ask for more humanitarian support," the opposition representative told UPI.

Congress is currently reviewing a request to provide $27 million in nonlethal aid to the opposition.

In addition to both lethal and nonlethal aid, the opposition representative noted, President Jarba will be seeking U.S. "support to remove all foreign fighters and militias OUT of Syria."

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