Syrian rebels urge civil disobedience

2012-06-10 16:30
Syrian troops heavily shelled a rebel-held neighbourhood in the flashpoint central city of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad's troops appeared to be readying to storm the area. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

Syrian troops heavily shelled a rebel-held neighbourhood in the flashpoint central city of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad's troops appeared to be readying to storm the area. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

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Beirut - The Free Syrian Army on Sunday called on Syrians to begin a campaign of mass "civil disobedience" and also urged the strife-torn regime's military officers and troops to jump ship and join the rebel ranks.

"We call on Syrians to launch a general strike leading to mass civil disobedience," FSA spokesperson in Syria Colonel Kassem Saadeddine said in a statement.

Saadeddine urged officers and men in Syria's regular army "whose hands are not tainted with blood to join the fighters".

He said that for the FSA, which is largely composed of Syrian military deserters, "the hour of liberation and change has come".

"Soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers are called upon to join the rebellion and the ranks of the Free Syrian Army," he added.

The Syrian opposition's new leader said on Sunday President Bashar al-Assad's regime was on its "last legs," given the spiralling violence of recent days.

"The multiplying massacres and shellings show that it is struggling," said Kurdish activist Abdel Basset Sayda of a spate of mass killings of civilians.

The most recent killings saw 20 people, most of them women and children, killed when a residential area of the southern city of Daraa was bombarded on Saturday.

Sayda was elected in Istanbul to head the Syrian National Council, replacing the SNC's first leader, Paris-based academic Burhan Ghalioun, who stepped down last month in the face of mounting splits undermining the group's credibility.

The death toll from the nearly 15-month uprising against Assad's rule has now topped 14 100, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

Read more on:    fsa  |  bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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