Syrian human rights activists called on Sunday for the international community to intervene in order to prevent a massacre in the Syrian city of Aleppo, following two days of battles between rebels and regime forces.
The head of the main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, called for international help in arming the rebels to face the Assad regime's heavy weaponry, particularly tanks.
"If the international community cannot act, they should support the opposition with anti-tanks missiles and anti-aircraft rockets," Abdel Basset Sida told the Gulf News during a stopover in Abu Dhabi. "We seek international supporters to arm our uprising against the regime."
The violence has sent refugees flooding into countries bordering Syria including Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. Jordan said it had opened its first tent camp for Syrians, saying a surge of refugees forced it to do so.
Some 200,000 people have fed Aleppo in the last two days of battles, according to United Nations estimates.
The Arab League chief described the situation in Syria as amounting to war crimes and said those responsible will be held accountable internationally, Egypt's state news agency said on Sunday.Gulf sources told Reuters on Friday that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar had established a centre in Adana, southeastern Turkey, to help the rebel Free Syrian Army with communications and weaponry as it battles in major cities against forces loyal to Assad."The very well-known position of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to extend to the Syrian people financial and humanitarian assistance, as well as calling upon the international community to enable them to protect themselves at the very least if the international community is not able to do so," a foreign ministry spokesman said by text message on Saturday, answering a Reuters query about the base.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta heads today to the Middle East where tensions are rising over the democratic transition in Egypt, turmoil in Syria and Iran’s suspected advances toward nuclear weapons.His trip to Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan has a security agenda, including new concerns about Syrian chemical weapons, along with election-season political stakes. Panetta is scheduled to arrive in Israel on the heels of a visit by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has appealed to Jewish voters by attacking President Barack Obama as lacking sufficient commitment to Israel’s security.One public source of tension between the Obama administration and Israeli leaders involves the urgency of military strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites. While the U.S. and Israel both say they suspect Iran is covertly seeking nuclear-weapons capabilities through uranium enrichment and other activities, the two allies have disagreed openly about how much time to give economic sanctions and negotiations to persuade Iran to give up much its nuclear program.