French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is visiting Syrian refugee camps at the Turkey-Syria border, said that after hearing the testimonies of refugees and the horror stories from the massacre that is being conducted by the regime, Bashar Assad does not deserve to be on the face of the planet."
"France's position is clear: we consider Assad to be butchering his own people. He must leave, and the sooner he goes the better," Fabius told reporters in a tent at the UN-run Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, which houses around 6,000 Syrians.
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"We are, at the international level, encouraging the Syrians to find a political transition. I stress that a political transition must come soon – this is the obvious solution," he added as dozens of Syrian refugees gathered outside the tent, chanting "Allahu akbar (God is greatest).
Fabius and his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh toured the seven-square-kilometer (two-square-mile) camp, outside the city of Mafraq, before meeting King Abdullah II in Amman for talks on the Syrian conflict.
'We don't need camps, we need weapons.' (Photo: AFP)
Several camp residents spoke to Fabius as he walked about, urging weapons for the rebels to topple Assad.
"We do not need refugee camps. We need weapons, RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and anti-aircraft rockets to fight Bashar," said Mohammed Hariri, 51, of Daraa, the cradle of the revolt that erupted 18 months ago.
"Bashar forces killed my son and destroyed my house. I want revenge," he said.
Suad, a 40-year-old mother of four, agreed.
Destruction in Syria (Photo: Reuters)
"We do not want aid. We want to arm the opposition and get rid of Bashar's regime," she said.
Fabius later told reporters: "There has been no delivery of lethal weapons from European countries, particularly France, because we are committed to uphold an arms embargo.
"We respect the embargo, and at the same time we are helping the Syrian resistance as much as we can," he said, adding however that some countries were willing to provide the rebels with non-lethal equipment.
Meanwhile, Syrian forces battled rebels near the airport in war-battered Aleppo, Syria's state media said Friday, in the first official acknowledgment that fighting has reached the doorstep of the strategic site in the country's largest city.
Syria's official SANA news agency said "armed terrorist groups," the regime's phrase for rebels, had been pushed out from areas on both sides of the airport, which is located about 15 kilometers (nine miles) southeast of Aleppo's historical center. The report did not make it clear whether the fighting was closer to the international airport or the adjacent military airfield, a base for carrying out airstrikes on rebel sites in the north.
AFP and Associated Press contributed to this report
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