"Syrian" "rebels" say civilian airliners now 'legitimate targets'
Civilian aircraft flying in or out of airports in the Syrian cities of Damascus or Aleppo risk being shot down from 10 September onwards, opposition group the Free Syrian Army has publicly declared.
"The airports of Damascus and Aleppo will be considered legitimate targets as of 10 September," says the group's political advisor, Bassam El-Dada.
Speaking on France 24's Arabic channel, he accused the Syrian regime of having "transformed these airports into platforms that serve to transport troops and refill arms and ammunition via Syrian, Iranian and Russian civilian airplanes."
El-Dada blames the regime for the Free Syrian Army's actions, saying: "The responsibility for what happens now is back in the hands of the illegitimate regime of Syria, as well as its Russian allies ... If we were irresponsible, we would not have warned the civilian airlines."
Source and full piece: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/syrian-rebels-say-civilian-a...
Senators McCain, Lieberman and Graham urge US to arm "Syrian" "rebels"
CERNOBBIO, Italy — U.S. Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham on Friday urged Washington to help arm Syria’s rebels with weapons and create a safe zone inside the country for a transition government. They also called for a far tougher position against Iran over its suspected — and seemingly inexorable — drive toward acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
McCain blasted President Barack Obama, who defeated him in the 2008 presidential election, for recently setting the “red line” for Syria at use of chemical weapons.
“If you’re (Syrian President) Bashar Assad ... maybe you interpret that to mean that you can do anything short of chemical weapons before the United States will intervene,” the Republican from Arizona told the Ambrosetti Forum, a gathering of political and business leaders on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.
Lieberman and McCain — who together with Graham have toured the volatile Middle East in recent days — both argued that the longer the West waits the more jihadists will gain influence in the rebellion.
“We should be supplying weapons to the opposition to Assad (and) I strongly support the creation of a safe zone,” said Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, who has since become a Connecticut independent.
“The opposition has effectively seized control of a piece of land in northern Syria,” he said. “If we help them protect themselves from Assad’s helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft they can establish a transitional government ... I am confident that if we set it up and told (the regime) that if they attacked it there would be a vigorous response, they would not attack it.”
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