News Column

Syrian Rebls Beg for Help to Save Homs

July 5, 2013

Syria's main rebel group pleaded for international help to stop regime forces from taking Homs, a city deemed critical in efforts to end the Syrian conflict.

The call for assistance was made Friday during a two-day meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul, Turkey, at which the group planned to elect a new president, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The situation in Homs, a western city, "deteriorated tremendously" Sunday, said SNC spokesman Khaled Shaleh.

"That is why we told our partner countries -- supportive of the revolution since its early days -- that the fall of Homs would put any political solution in jeopardy."

If Homs fell to Syrian government forces, Shaleh said, the Syrian people would have difficulty accepting SNC negotiations for a political solution with the regime to end the fighting.

The central areas of Homs were bombed by Syrian warplanes Thursday as rebel troops and regime forces fought on the ground.

Faraj Hamood, a coalition member, said he expected to return to Syria within a week with instructions from Gen. Salim Idris -- head of the Free Syrian Army -- to rebel fighters about how to overcome government troops in Homs.

During its meeting, the SNC expected to elect a new president, vice president and secretary general.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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