Clinton warns al-Assad on opposition
ISTANBUL - Agence France-PresseU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be “mistaken” if he thinks he can defeat the opposition against him.
“If Assad continues as he has to fail to end the violence, [...] then it is unlikely he is going to ever agree” to implement the peace plan he agreed to with UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Clinton told a press conference. “Because it’s a clear signal that he wants wait to see whether he has totally suppressed the opposition,” Clinton said. “I think he would be mistaken to believe that.” “My reading is that the opposition is gaining in intensity, not losing it,” Clinton said. Clinton also said the opposition Syrian National Council was being taken more seriously by the international community. “They are ...not only becoming better focused and better organized but more broadly based, more inclusive,” Clinton said.
“The variety and the base of the SNC is broadening which gives it added legitimacy,” she said. “We [the U.S.] are going to be supporting the SNC with direct assistance in areas such as communications. Others are going to be supporting fighters associated with the SNC,” she added. “So countries are making their own decisions, but the net result is that the SNC is being treated as the umbrella organization representing the opposition,” she said.