Iran security head visits Syria, “friends of Syria” meet in Turkey

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Iran security head visits Syria, “friends of Syria” meet in Turkey   2013-04-21 11:07:05

DAMASCUS, April 20 (Xinhua) — Iranian national security head visited Syria on Saturday as the country’s opposition called for a no-fly zone over Syria and “surgical” bombing against Syrian army’s ballistic missile launchers.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, is expected to meet President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, among others, during his three-day visit, local officials said.

Iran has emerged as a main regional ally of the Syrian government, whose officials have repeatedly stressed support for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Meanwhile, in the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Turkey’s Istanbul on Saturday, the oppositional National Coalition said they want a no-fly zone over Syria to protect the northern and southern borders to secure the safe return of Syrian refugees.

They also wanted the UN Security Council to condemn the use of rockets by the government troops “against civilians” and adopt measures to stop the Syrian from using such weapons.

The group also demanded “capable countries” undertake immediate measures to disable the government troops’ ability to use “chemical weapons and ballistic rockets” through carrying out “surgical airstrikes” by drones.

However, their Western backers appear reluctant to do so. Among them, U.S. President Barack Obama said repeatedly that he has no plans to send weapons or render lethal aid to the rebels in Syria.

The United States, however, was reportedly preparing a new package of aid to the Syrian rebels of up to 130 million U.S. dollars in non-lethal aid that would include body armor, night vision binoculars, armored vehicles and advanced communication devices.

Britain and France have been supporting efforts to lift an arm embargo on Syrian rebels to tilt the balance of the conflict in their favor.

A military leader of the Syrian rebels, Salem Idris, told reporters on the sidelines of the “Friend of Syria” meeting that “only power would end the conflict” in Syria.

He brushed off any possibility to embark on negotiations with the administration.

Al-Assad said Wednesday that what is happening in Syria is a “war” in all sense of the word but there is still chance for dialogue with the opposition.

“we want all parties to participate…to make dialogue a success,” the president said.

“All doors for dialogue are open,” he said. “Anything is negotiable… There are no red lines but in two things: Syria’s independence, which means no foreign interference in any internal affairs… and supporting terrorists.”

Editor: An

via Iran security head visits Syria, “friends of Syria” meet in Turkey – Xinhua |

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