Last Updated: Fri Mar 09, 2012 16:59 pm (KSA) 13:59 pm (GMT)

Syrian opposition leader says his group is receiving donations, weapons

Head of the opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghalioun, said that his group is getting weapons and donations to “break arm” of the “killer” Syrian regime. (Al Arabiya)
Head of the opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghalioun, said that his group is getting weapons and donations to “break arm” of the “killer” Syrian regime. (Al Arabiya)

The Syrian National Council (SNC) is receiving financial support and weapons from governments, the head of the opposition group told Al Arabiya on Friday.

SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun said that “the council started receiving financial support in the form of donations from Arab and non-Arab countries,” and that he is trying to get access to some “quality weapons to break the arm of the killer Syrian regime.”

“The priority now is to break the killing arm of the Syrian regime and topple Bashar al-Assad and the militia that is now ruling Syria,” he said in an interview.

Ghalioun, who described the bombardment of Syrian neighborhoods as “mass killing” rebuffed criticism that there is a reciprocal violence exchanged between the regime and the opposition. He said that there shouldn’t be any comparison between individuals carrying light weapons to defend themselves and heavy weaponry, missiles and warplanes.

Early march, Ghalioun said that a military bureau was created after the announcement by some countries that they were ready to arm the Free Syrian Army (FSA). He said it is a step to bring together one Syrian umbrella all armed opposition groups in a bid to reduce foreign influence in the country.

However, the opposition leader’s announcement came amid an international atmosphere that shuns any military intervention in Syria even by countries that called on Assad to cede power.

On Friday, meanwhile, foreign ministers of France and Morocco reiterated their opposition to outside military intervention against Assad’s regime in Syria to end its crackdown on the opposition.

“We reject any military intervention in Syria, and the Arab League has always favored a political solution,” Morocco’s Saad Eddine Othmani said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Alain Juppe.

Juppe for his part said that while the situation in Syria was “unacceptable and scandalous” the military option “is not on the agenda.”

Othmani also called on Russia to “make an effort” and support the latest draft resolution on Syria to be put to the United Nations Security Council.

Russia said Friday it opposed the U.S.-drafted resolution because it did not contain a call for a simultaneous halt to violence by the government and rebels.

On Thursday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that his country was opposed to any force from outside the region intervening in Syria, but warned that no government could survive by using violence against its people.

Gul’s comments came during a visit to Tunisia, which has also called on Assad to step down but has opposed any foreign military intervention to end the year-long crisis that has claimed more than 7,500 lives.

Russia, jointly with China, has vetoed two previous U.N. Security Council drafts on the nearly year-long Syrian crisis.

“I remain optimistic,” Othmani said, adding, “The Syrian regime is isolated.”

A draft of the new resolution draft obtained by AFP demands that the Syrian government “immediately” cease all violence and calls on opposition groups to “refrain from all violence” once these conditions are met.

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