Britain Joins Syrian Rebels, Iran Backs Damascus

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Amman/ Tehran: As the deadlocked Syrian conflict moved into a new phase Wednesday, with Britain’s prime minister urging the U.S. to join him in working directly with Syrian rebels and Turkey saying Washington has discussed protecting a safe zone inside Syria with Patriot missiles, a senior Iranian military commander said Tehran was against any form of foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs.

The changes would mark a profound shift in Western efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, and indicate that leaders have been waiting for the result of the U.S. presidential election before embarking on a new strategy to end the civil war that has killed more than 36,000 people.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, visiting a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, said the U.S., Britain and other allies should do more to “shape the opposition” into a coherent force and open channels of communication directly with rebel military commanders. Previously, Britain and the U.S. have acknowledged contacts only with exile groups and political opposition figures inside Syria.

Meanwhile Iran’s Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said, “The strategic stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Syria is opposing intervention of foreign players in the internal affairs of this country.”

Jazayeri also renewed Iran’s call for a Syrian solution to the ongoing crisis in the country while ruling out “interventionist” proposals offered by foreign parties.
The general noted that the Syrian people increasingly feel that their country is being threatened by foreign governments and domestic groups affiliated to them.

“The people of Syria consider it more likely to achieve stability through the government, while the Syrian opposition’s potential to enter terrorist groups into Syria has diminished and the armed insurgents’ inability to topple the government has been clearly proven,” Jazayeri pointed out.

He added that there is evidence to prove that toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad is still on the agenda of the opposition groups.

Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the insurgents are foreign nationals.

Syria blames Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey as well as some Western countries for fanning the flames of violence in the country. Agencies

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