Syria's opposition chief asks Saudi Arabia for more help

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Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The head of Syria's main opposition group has asked Saudi Arabia to increase its support for the rebel Free Syrian Army, his adviser said Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of the Islamist opposition struggling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Ahmed Jarba, head of the opposition National Coalition, met with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday.

"The talks focused on continuing the Saudi aid and on the need to strengthen the capacities of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)," Jarba's adviser Monser Akbik told AFP.

More aid is needed "to face the increasing number of mercenaries and militias belonging to (Lebanese movement) Hezbollah and Iraqis" fighting alongside the Syrian regime, he said.

He also cited the "intensifying military and economic aid Russia and Iran" are providing to Assad.

The FSA is also "battling extremists from the (jihadist) Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who serve the regime's interests," said Akbik.

Jarba told Prince Salman during their meeting that the government's announcement of a June 3 presidential election, widely expected to return Assad to office, has "closed the door to any political solution," according to a statement by the Coalition.

(AFP)

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