Syrian Opposition Forms Transitional Council in Aleppo
Syrian opposition forces in the northern province of Aleppo have declared the formation of a “Revolutionary Transitional Council” as future umbrella for all the opposition groups battling to bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
“[The Revolutionary Transitional Council] includes all those working in the revolution; civilians, politicians and military men,” one member of the newly formed council said in a statement aired by Al-Arabiya television on Friday.
The council aims to “facilitate the formation for a [wider] national transitional council to include all of the Syrian provinces,” the statement added.
“In a time when the Syrian revolution has reached an advanced stage, there needs to be an incubator inside Syrian territory to lead the revolution from the inside,” the statement read, according to Al-Arabiya.
Syrian opposition forces have long been criticized for being divisive and not unified. Western nations have also called on Syrian opposition forces to be prepared to be ready to fill the void if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime collapses.
On Monday, French President Francois Hollande called on the opposition to form a transitional government and for the establishment of liberated zones in Syria.
“France asks the Syrian opposition to constitute a provisional government that is inclusive, representative, that can become the legitimate representative of the new Syria,” Hollande said. “France would recognize the provisional government once it has been formed.”
A UN Security Council meeting on Syria’s aid crisis achieved nothing new on Thursday except to highlight global paralysis on the 17-month conflict as western powers warned that military action to secure civilian safe zones was still an option.
The United Nations said during the meeting that proposals to set up secure safe zones in Syria to help end the 17-month conflict raised “serious questions” and would need to be studied carefully.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged the UN Security Council to set up civilian safe havens inside Syria, saying his country was struggling to cope with refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.
Davutoglu told the Security Council more than 80,000 Syrians are in camps in Turkey, 10,000 are waiting at the border and his country faces “seriously difficulty” coping with 4,000 crossing over each day.
United Nations officials spoke out against the proposal and Britain and France warned of the major diplomatic and legal obstacles blocking any move to set up special zones, which could require military protection.
UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson warned that the calls for humanitarian corridors “raise serious questions and require careful and critical consideration.”
As the 17-month-old civil war in the country continued to claim victims this week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed Turkey for the violence.
“Turkey bears direct responsibility for the blood being shed in Syria,” Assad told the pro-regime local television channel Ad-Dounia in an interview on Wednesday.
He added that the talk of a Western-imposed buffer zone on Syrian territory was unrealistic and that the situation in his country was “better.”
In excerpts of the interview released on Tuesday, Assad claimed that the situation in the torn country is improving.
He said that it will take some time until the military campaign in the country is completed, adding that the regime is making progress and the improvement can already be felt.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)