Tags: Syria | US | Help

Syrian Opposition Leader: We Need the United States' Help

(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016 11:10 AM

A "commitment of guarantees" and outside leadership is needed from the United States in particular to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Bassma Kodmani, a member of the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee and executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative, said on Wednesday.

"We can only find those who can defend you, and those who can defend you are not good guys," Kodmani, in New York City for this week's United Nations General Assembly, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We don't want those bad guys."

Meanwhile, a commitment is needed to guarantee any agreement that comes up, as there has been a cease-fire declared, but no guarantees about it.

"We need guarantees articulated to say if women and children are bombed again in spite of the agreement, what will you go?" said Kodmani.

For that, leadership needs to come from the United States "in particular" and from other companies that are "willing and determined to do something," especially with Russia being involved in the fighting, said Kodmani.

"When Russia is in the game, you cannot really mobilize other countries alone," she told the program. "You need to have the United States."

The Syrian opposition continues to seek "credible attitudes, behavior, policy" from the United States and to work on negotiations, said Kodmani, but it is not working because it all relies on "good faith from Russia, The good faith of the [Bashar al-Assad] regime, the trustworthiness of Iran. And all these three parties are simply untrustworthy."

She continued that Syrians were "shattered" when President Barack Obama, in August 2013, failed to launch an attack and instead reached an accord with Russia after Assad "crossed the red line" by using chemical weapons on his countrymen.

"What you can tell to Syrians today is, do we have friends out there who care about the lives of children and women who died, suffocated with chemical weapons?" said Kodmani.

"Now the use of chemical weapons is back again in Syria by the regime, in spite of him claiming that he dismantled his arsenal and we are back to counting on Russia to get him to behave, to rein him in, is Mr. [Vladimir] Putin, who is our powerful world leader, out there looking to impress everyone?"

Further, Russia has denied conducting an airstrike on a humanitarian convoy heading into war-torn Aleppo, and Kodmani said the nation is used to "indiscriminate bombing by Russia."

"This is too much by the international community," she said. "It's usual for the Syrian people. We've been undergoing this for all these years. The point here is who is going to lead a movement that says enough is enough?"

Aleppo has been under siege for three weeks, and food and medical supplies are becoming too scarce, Kodmani continued.

"Medical supplies are absolutely critical because the rate of death rises because people cannot be treated for very ordinary illnesses and diseases,' she said. "Aleppo is very big of course. It's a huge city.

"You can get some food into there but you cannot get enough and it is less and less available for poor people...the first will suffer are poorest. Women and children are underfed. Baby milk is always a considerable issue. And medical supplies."

Russia, she continued, wants to starve the population of Aleppo so it will surrender.

"After four and one-half years of siege and total blockade of cities, where people are eating grass, they end up saying some of us want to give up," said Kodmani. "Some of us want to surrender. They call that local truces. As if this is a truce really. So starvation is an integral part of the strategy here both by the regime as well as Russia."

And meanwhile, Syrians refugees just want to go home to a united country "and they want to live," she said.

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A "commitment of guarantees" and outside leadership is needed from the United States in particular to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Bassma Kodmani, a member of the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee said on Wednesday.
Syria, US, Help
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2016-10-21
Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016 11:10 AM
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