Friday, June 14, 2013

Obama to Syria's NATO rebellion: 'Now go to Geneva, before it's too late'

"...Rebels gathered in an apartment near one of the front lines that divide Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, were surprised by the Obama administration’s announcement and focused on a question asked by many in Syria’s beleaguered opposition: Would the promised aid really help the rebels or would it be too little, too late, as government forces continue to make gains and consolidate control....Much remained unclear about the American aid, including the number that it would involve, when the weapons would arrive and how they would be distributed. ...
Military gains by Mr. Assad’s forces could improve his bargaining position at an international conference — approved by the United States and Russia — that is scheduled to take place in Geneva this month. It is not clear that the meeting, which is intended to negotiate an end to the conflict, would actually proceed.
Since the fall of Qusayr, antigovernment activists have reported government troop movements toward Aleppo, which remains roughly divided between the rebel and government forces, with front lines snaking in between.
Friday’s fighting was the fiercest near the rebel-held neighborhood of Sakhour in eastern Aleppo, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of contacts inside Syria for information.
Government forces bombarded the area with missiles and tank shells for several hours before sending in ground troops from two directions in an attempt to gain control over the strategically important roadways that cut through the area, witnesses said...."

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