Opposition Leader: Assad Should Transfer Power to Deputy (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 06/12/12)
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The new leader of Syria´s exiled opposition called embattled
President Bashar al-Assad on Monday to transfer power to his deputy
Faruq al-Shara, the Anatolia news agency reported.
“Assad should leave office to his vice president,” Abdel Basset
Sayda, who was named on Sunday to head opposition umbrella group the
Syrian National Council (SNC), told Anatolia.
He claimed the Syrian leadership was losing its control of the
country day by day, adding, “The regime is able to maintain its
control only over a few streets (in Damascus).”
The Kurdish dissident was elected SNC leader at an Istanbul meeting
Sunday, replacing Burhan Ghalioun who stepped down last month in the
face of mounting divisions that were undermining the group´s
Violence has intensified in Syria despite a truce that was supposed
to take effect in April.
International envoy Kofi Annan, who brokered the failed ceasefire,
said on Monday he was “gravely concerned” about the escalation of
fighting in Syria, citing the shelling of opposition areas in central
Homs province and reports of mortar, helicopter and tank attacks near
the Mediterranean coast.
The Associated Press quoted Annan’s spokesperson, Ahmad Fawzi, as
demanding both sides “take all steps to ensure that civilians are not
According to videos posted online, fireballs of orange flame and
black rubble exploded in the air as waves of shells pounded
residential buildings in Homs on Monday. The shells whooshed through
the sky amid sporadic machine gun fire.
There also were reports of fierce clashes in northern Idlib province,
according to AP. Activists reported more than 50 people killed across
“What we are seeing right now are fierce clashes as the Syrian army
tries to take back positions held by the rebels,” Rami Abdul-Rahman
of the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights told AP. “There are many deaths in the rebel ranks.”
Activists said Syrian troops with helicopter gunships attacked
Rastan, a rebel-held town in Homs province, and shelled other restive
areas across the nation.
The Observatory and another activist coalition, the Local
Coordination Committees, also reported government shelling in the
southern region of Daraa, the northern province of Aleppo, along with
suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and Deir el-Zour in the east.
On Sunday, heavy fighting was reported on the streets of Damascus.
United Nations supervisors said opposition forces were attacking
Syrian government troops as well as the electricity stations
supplying power to the Syrian Army bases.
They activists also bombed six buses carrying soldiers loyal to
Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh warned on Sunday that
Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons may fall into the rebels’ hands,
something which requires preparation on the part of Israel.
“Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons is largest in the world, and it
has rockets which cover all of Israel’s territory,” Naveh
said. “These days, the IDF must prepare to deal with threats to
Syrian opposition sources claimed last week that aircraft belonging
to the Syrian Air Force dropped toxic material into the province of
Daraa, which smells like sulfur and causes drowsiness and
It was also reported that President Bashar Assad’s forces had used
unidentified gas shells on civilians in Daraa, Hama and Deir ez-Zor.
In a meeting with the Druze community in the Golan Heights on
Saturday, Deputy Minister MK Ayoub Kara was presented with evidence
that clearly indicates the use of chemical weapons by the Assad
regime, including photos of big black clouds suspected of containing
chemical material that were fired over the areas where battles
between rebels and regime forces have been taking place.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/12/12)
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