07/03/2012, 00.00
SYRIA

In Cairo, the divisions of the Syrian opposition

Arab League tries to mediate between the various groups. Absent the Free Syrian Army, contrary to a peaceful resolution of conflict. Human Rights Watch releases a shocking report on torture by the Assad regime.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Syrian opposition is meeting in Cairo to attempt to mend their divisions and study a transition plan for after Assad. Organized by the Arab League in cooperation with the Syrian National Council (NSC), the meeting was boycotted by the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In a statement, the main armed rebel group called the meeting a "conspiracy" to support the regime and its allies: Russia and China, stressing the need for international military intervention to stop the violence. Starting yesterday, the two day meeting in Cairo is to set the timing and practicalities of political transition, taking into account all components of Syrian society. The NSC and other opposition groups remain divided on the formation of the coalition who should also include members of the regime. Yesterday, Nasser el-Qidwa, adviser to Kofi Annan, UN and Arab League envoy to the Syrian crisis, stressed that "to win the trust of the population, the Syrian opposition should be united. This is not a simple choice, but a necessity. "

The Cairo meeting follows the summit of the Group of Action for Syria, held in Geneva on July 1, which failed because of China and Russia's refusal to put diplomatic pressure on Assad to force him to leave office. According to the two main allies of the regime, the Syrian people must choose their future, not the international community. To date, Moscow and Beijing have not yet confirmed their presence at the meeting of the "Friends of Syria" in the program on July 6 in Paris.

Internal conflicts within the Syrian opposition, the divisions between the countries of the international community and the interference of states such as Saudi Arabia and Russia are making it increasingly a short term peaceful solution unlikely. Confined for over a year to the strongholds of the rebel region of Homs, Hama and Deraa, the conflict has evolved in recent weeks to envelope Aleppo and Damascus. Yesterday, on the outskirts of the capital, the army repelled a helicopter assault and rebel attack. Heavy shelling and clashes with tanks also occurred in the villages a few kilometers from Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch today issued a report which accused the regime of torture against political prisoners, arbitrary arrests and abductions. The organization has collected over 200 testimonies of detainees in Syrian prisons, describing the methods used by Assad men to force confessions. With this document, HRW wants to push the international community to take more concrete actions to stop the conflict, which so far has left more than 16.500 dead and about 100 thousand displaced.

 

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