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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria Rebels Urge Air Strikes on Assad Missiles

RIA Novosti

04:09 21/04/2013

DUBAI, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – Syria's opposition has asked its foreign supporters to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for "surgical strikes" on missile positions of Syrian government forces.

A statement by the Syrian National Coalition on Saturday addressed an Istanbul meeting of the Friends of Syria group, which includes the United States, the EU members and some Arab nations.

'It is the moral imperative of the international community, led by the Friends of Syria, to take specific, precise and immediate action to protect Syrian civilians from the use of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons,' the statement said.

The document called specifically for "surgical strikes on [missile] launching locations by unmanned aerial vehicles."

The Syrian opposition also called for the enforcement of a no-fly zone along Syria's northern and southern borders to allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to return to their homes without fear of airstrikes by Bashar al-Assad's air force.

The statement reflects the opposition's frustration over the lack of a strong international response to the civil war in Syria, which started two years ago and took the lives of at least 70,000 Syrians, according to the UN data.

The Western supporters have so far refused to supply the Syrian rebels with weapons on fears that they may end up in the hands of Islamist extremists, while some Arab countries are supplying the rebels with weaponry.

However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after the meeting on Saturday that the European Union would consider lifting the existing embargo on arms deliveries to Syria in the next few weeks as the Syrian opposition showed the strongest commitment yet at the meeting to working towards a democratic solution in the country.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told the meeting that Washington would provide the Syrian rebels with additional $123 million of non-lethal aid that may include body armor.

So far, the United States has provided an estimated $117 million in non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, according to the US government.

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