Opposition chief urges anti-Assad action

2013-08-29 08:04
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The West must rid Syria of President Bashar Assad and bring him to trial before the International Criminal Court, the leader of the country's main opposition group, Ahmad al-Jarba, said in an interview on Thursday.

Jarba told the daily Le Parisien he will tell French President Francois Hollande in talks on Thursday morning: "Chemical Bashar has massacred our people on 21 August. He must not escape the punishment he deserves".

The UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Wednesday it was clear a chemical substance had been used in the 21 August attack in a Damascus suburb, killing hundreds of people.

"May he be attacked and may his regime disappear," said Jarba, branding Assad "an infection, a microbe for the region".

"This man and his family must be brought to justice in The Hague by the International Criminal Court."

‘Lacking everything’

The Syrian opposition expects Western countries to carry out "a punishing strike against the regime", followed by "political and military support for the Free Syrian Army", he added.

Assad has the support of Russia, Lebanon's Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah and Iran, he said, but added: "We are lacking everything. Our allies haven't given us anything we asked for".

Jarba also warned of al-Qaeda's influence in the region.

"We do not want to get rid of Assad to end up with Al-Qaeda," he said. "These extremists are manipulated by the regime to scare the world."

"A courageous decision must be taken. We need our friends. Words are not enough," he added.

Jarba's meeting with Hollande at the Elysee palace comes after the French leader said France was "ready to punish those who took the vile decision to gas innocent people", pointing the finger of blame at Assad's regime.

Until last week, France - like Britain and the United States - had ruled out intervening militarily in Syria without the green light from the UN Security Council, where Damascus ally Russia is likely to block any action.

But the regime's suspected use of chemical weapons is considered to have breached a "red line" during an already bloody conflict that has left more than 100 000 dead.

Read more on:    un  |  fsa  |  al-qaeda  |  bashar assad  |  francois hollande  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.