Syrian rebels complain about unkept promises

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A senior Syria rebel leader says their allies have not fulfilled their promises over humanitarian and weaponry aid following last month’s meeting in Morocco

 Neither Arab nor European countries have met the needs of the Syrian people in terms of both humanitarian aid and weaponry, according to the vice president of the main Syrian opposition body, the Syrian National Coalition.

“Following the ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting last month in Morocco, we had many promises from countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and European countries, but right now our basket is still empty. We have more than 130 countries as friends but we are getting nothing,” George Sabra told the Daily News.

The Christian-rooted leader of the SNC, who is also the president of the Syrian National Council, said the lack of humanitarian aid was particularly acute in the south of Syria. “There are massacres from the regime almost every day in the southern areas such as the al-Hasakah district. The regime feels free to do whatever it wants because the world is still silent. The Syrian people are also suffering from a lack of bread, water and fuel under the harsh winter conditions,” Sabra said.

“None of our friends – from Arab countries to the Western countries – have met the needs of the Syrian people, especially in terms of humanitarian aid,” he added.

Sabra also complained about the lack of weaponry aid from the international community, which he said would “allow the Syrian people defend themselves.”

“What about the right of the Syrian people to defend their children? How can the international community not provide anything to the Syrian people to defend themselves when massacres are still going on in Syria? Unfortunately, our friends have not done anything to help people protect themselves,” he said.

‘Jordanian refugee camp is disastrous’
The SNC president also touched on the situation in the al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, describing conditions there as “disastrous.”

“The camp is flooded. Many people have been injured and some have died. The camp is located in the desert so they don’t have water in summer and they are freezing in winter. These refugees who are trying to survive in unbelievable circumstances are getting harmed twice – first by the al-Assad regime and then in this disastrous camp,” Sabra said, adding that they had asked the Jordanian government to either help these people or change the location of the camp many times, without success.

“We are thankful to the Turkish government and the Turkish people in terms of providing the necessary humanitarian conditions and humanitarian aid for the Syrian people living in its camps,” he said.

The number of Syrian refugees registered in neighboring countries and North Africa has increased by more than 100,000 in the past month to over 600,000, the U.N.’s refugee body said last week.

The U.N. agency said it had registered nearly 176,600 refugees in Jordan, but stressed that the Jordanian government put the total number at around 280,000.

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