Syria opposition urges foreign allies to arm rebels

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Syria opposition urges foreign allies to arm rebels

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As more heavy fighting is reported in Aleppo, Syria’s opposition wants its foreign allies to arm rebels to help them resist the regime’s onslaught.

“We want weapons that we can stop tanks and planes with,” said Abdelbasset Sida, head of the Syrian National Council opposition alliance. Sida insists such firepower is needed to counter what he called President Asad’s “killing machine”.

Despite being heavily outgunned, opposition fighters claim to have held off government forces.

Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi, a rebel leader in Aleppo, has accused the regime of preparing a “massacre” and urged the West to impose a no-fly zone over the north of the country.

With much of Syria’s second city now a war zone, civilians are leaving their homes.

Many Syrians fleeing violence have crossed into Jordan which has just opened its first official refugee camp for them, near the border.

“As you know and as everyone knows, in the last 16 months, we have had approximately 142,000 Syrians coming to Jordan as a result of the events taking place there…the tragedy, the violence, the killing,” said Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. “People are seeking refuge and Jordan historically has been a place of refuge.”

The UN refugee agency hopes the camp will ultimately be able to provide shelter for more than 100,000 people. In the past few weeks, the rate of Syrians arriving in Jordan has doubled to 1,200-1,300 a day.