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Friends of Syria' Lack Plan to Support Army Defectors

By Mahmoud Khattab

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 27, 2011


The Syrian American Council (SAC) had welcomed the "Friends of Syria" group's call for the immediate ending of violence during the conference held in the Tunisian capital yesterday, but was disappointed by the lack of a tangible action plan to either support the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or help put an end to the Assad's bloody crackdown and brutal regime. The meeting was apparently another delaying tactic, which makes a mockery of the suffering and continued bloodshed of the Syrian people.
While the Friends' Group reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and called for taking the right step to impose sanctions against the regime and its allies, allowing humanitarian organizations to offer aid to Homs and Zabadani, and creating humanitarian corridors inside Syria,  the meeting failed to outline any concrete plans to help stop the bloodshed or support army defectors efforts to protect civilians.
SEE: Chairman's Conclusion of the International Conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People
SAC calls upon the "Friends of Syria" to support the FSA financially and militarily to defend army defectors and civilian protesters, and reiterates the importance of an intervention to establish safety zones and humanitarian corridors, which would serve three main purposes:

- Provide safe areas for civilians from bombardment by tank and heavy artillery
- Ensure the flow of humanitarian assistance
- Provide safe areas for army defectors where they will have the ability to effectively resist the Assad regime.

"While the Friends Group meeting was taking place, the regime continued its massacres of Syrian civilians. It is clear that Assad will not stop his crimes unless a credible power intervenes. The international community should immediately take the necessary measures to support army defectors to resist the regime instead of continuing to watch Assad's slaughtering of the Syrian people," said SAC President Talal Sunbulli.
The Syrian American Council (SAC) was founded in 2005 to mobilize Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and governmental organizations to advance civil liberties, human dignity and democracy in Syria. The organization has represented Syrian Americans to the U.S. State Department, Congress, and in international meetings and councils. 

SAC Chairman Dr. Mahmoud Khattab,,

916-753-0899; Communications Director Rashad Al-Dabbagh,,

626-375-2537; or SAC President Talal Sunbulli,, 708-373-6531.




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