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Friday, August 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
International

Syria opposition delays decision on govt-in-exile

Warplanes raid Damascus; Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey

Members of Turkish unions stage a protest against the deployment of patriot missiles by Nato in Turkey yesterday in Ankara. The banner reads: 'No to Patriots' , 'No to imperialist intervention in Syria'.

The Syrian opposition said yesterday it had postponed a decision on forming a government-in-exile at its meeting in Istanbul, saying it needs guarantees of support from dissident forces on the ground.

The Syrian National Council (SNC), a key component of the opposition, said the meeting held on Sunday formed a five-member panel to consult with the rebel Free Syrian Army, and other concerned parties on the issue.

"After studying the proposals and after deliberation on the question of creating an interim government, we decided to set up a five-member committee tasked with consulting with the forces of the revolution, the Free Syrian Army and friendly countries," the council said.

The Syrian National Council is an influential member of the National Coalition, which was set up in Doha in November in a bid to unify opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Since it was formed, the National Coalition has been recognised by scores of states and organisations as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Four batteries of Patriot missiles arrived in Turkey on Monday as part of a Nato mission to protect the Turkish border from any spillover of the conflict in neighbouring Syria, a Nato source told AFP.

A ship carrying two German Patriot missile batteries anchored at the southwestern port of Iskenderun early Monday and its cargo was being unloaded, the source said on condition of anonymity.

A second ship bearing another two Patriot missile batteries from The Netherlands also arrived at Iskenderun after a two-week journey, waiting behind the German ship to unload its cargo and 300 support troops, the source said.

Syrian warplanes yesterday launched raids on two towns east of Damascus, a monitoring group said, as a total overnight electricity blackout in the capital began to lift in the morning.

"Warplanes staged several air strikes on Irbin and Hamuriyeh in Damascus province," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers across the strife-torn country to compile its reports.

Syria's 22-month revolt has been racked by political schisms and unmet promises of financial and military aid by the international community, dissidents say.

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