Stop Assad before he uses chemical weapons, Syria’s opposition leader implores international community
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Stop Assad before he uses chemical weapons, Syria’s opposition leader implores international community

President 'would not hesitate to commit such atrocities, warns George Sabra, urging soldiers to defect

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

George Sabra, head of the main Syrian opposition bloc in exile, the Syrian National Council, on November 10, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Osama Faisal)
George Sabra, head of the main Syrian opposition bloc in exile, the Syrian National Council, on November 10, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Osama Faisal)

Syrian opposition leader George Sabra on Friday urged the international community to act against Bashar Assad’s regime before it inflicts a chemical weapons disaster on its people.

Assad would not “hesitate to commit such atrocities as he approaches his inevitable end unless he faces firm and unequivocal international opposition,” Sabra said.

“We ask the countries of the world to act before disaster hits, not after,” the Syrian National Council president said, insisting on actions, not words.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, he said his organization and the Syrian people deplore the use of weapons of mass destruction, and “will neither forget nor forgive anyone who orders the use of weapons of mass destruction, or anyone who is complicit in the crime, or anyone who moves only after the crime is committed.”

“The danger does not only threaten just Syria and its neighbors, but will also have a negative impact on global security,” Sabra said.

The opposition chief implored soldiers in Assad’s army to defect to the rebellion and disobey orders. “We call on troops and members of the security forces, and tell them that Syria, the country and its people, are more important than anything else.”

Sabra denounced Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons the same day that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against the Assad regime, saying that any use of chemical weapons would amount to an “outrageous crime in the name of humanity.”

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