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MIDEAST > Syria rebels criticize self and Turkey

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Syrian opposition groups critique themselves in Istanbul while reviewing the movement’s situation and complaining that Turkey is ‘slow’ to take action

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Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood begins a meeting in Silivri focusing on ways to support the uprising against the regime.DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood begins a meeting in Silivri focusing on ways to support the uprising against the regime.DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Erdem Güneş Erdem Güneş erdem.gunes@hdn.com.tr

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood group held its general assembly in Istanbul yesterday to review the movement’s present situation and criticized Turkey for being “slow” to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) and other anti-regime groups also took part in the two-day meeting, which was the second general assembly of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, 20 years after the 1982 Hama Massacre.

Mohamad Faruq Tayfur, an executive member of the SNC, said this meeting was an evaluation for them and was very crucial to the movement. “We will see where we made mistakes and where we gained ground. From there we will continue our resistance,” Tayfur told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Another member of the movement said the subjects of the meeting included the form of the government, role of women and youth in the movement and national cohesiveness. Tayfur also said Turkey’s contribution to the opposition was limited to “humanitarian aid [tent cities in the border area],” unlike the perception in Turkey. “We do not desire to get Turkey into trouble in internal politics, but I want to say, when the massacres broke out in Syria, Turkey raised its voice but then turned it down. Turkey acts how the international community acts.”

Molham Aldrobi, a leading member of the Brotherhood, said the purpose of the general assembly is to discuss strategic items for the movement regarding the revolution in Syria and interim period after al-Assad.

Al-Assad’s last card: Alawite state

Aldrobi mentioned the latest killings in Tremseh, which reportedly claimed over 100 lives last week, adding that the massacres drew the border lines of al-Assad’s future Alawite state. “If you follow the geographical positions of the massacres you will discover that they are somehow forming the border that is expected to [outline an] Alawite state in future. Bashar is playing the game of the sectarian civil war and his last card is if he feels that things are tied he will escape to the Alawite mountain to establish his own state,” he said.

“This is something very serious; this is a threat not only to Syria, this is a threat to Turkey and the region. Everybody should work to [prevent it].”

Claim over downed jet


Aldrobi also said al-Assad had tested Turkey’s capabilities by downing the Turkish jet. Turkey will take the right action, but the opposition considers Turkey’s decision-making slow, he added.

“The Turkish government needs to do more because al-Assad is a threat to the national security of Turkey. We want the international community including the Israelis to make sure that they stand on the right side.” He claimed that the Turkish jet was not downed by Russia but with its arms by the Syrian Army.

July/17/2012

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