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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Opposition Hopes Russia Helps Resolve Conflict

RIA Novosti

17:48 05/09/2012 MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia could put pressure on the Syrian authorities to help resolve the conflict in the country, Fathi Jamous, leader of the Coalition Forces for Peaceful Change in Syria, said on Wednesday during a news conference at RIA Novosti.

“I think Russia could influence our regime by forcing it to take a number of necessary steps,” he said.

The legal Syrian opposition hopes that Russia can play a special role in resolving the conflict since, unlike the West, it does not insist on the need to overthrow the current regime, Jamous said.

He also said that the majority of the country’s population opposed foreign interference in the Syrian conflict.

“On the whole, the situation in Syria has been very fragile. Both the demographic and the geographic structure of Syria is fragile, but all of Syria opposes foreign interference,” the opposition leader said.

Jamous said the Syrian authorities are mainly to blame for what is happening in the country. “We do indeed believe that the regime in Syria is violent and dictatorial against its own people.” At the same time, he admitted that other parties to the conflict share responsibility for the violence.

The opposition leader added that neither Bashar al-Assad’s reigime, nor the opposition forces, enjoy the overall support of the country’s population.

“At first, million of people supported the regime, but now the situation has changed: approximately 60 percent of the population oppose both of them, they support peace and security,” Jamous said.

The Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The West is pushing for President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.

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