France Expresses Support for Syrian Opposition

Posted November 13th, 2012 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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French officials have expressed their support for the new united Syrian opposition, but say it is too early to formally recognize the group.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday the group's formation is a “significant” step, but that the coalition does not yet constitute a provisional government the international community can recognize.

The Arab League gave similar support Monday, stopping short of giving the opposition group full recognition as the representative of the Syrian people.

Opposition members agreed at a meeting Sunday in Doha to create the umbrella group, which brings together the various opposition factions inside Syria and abroad seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement Tuesday calling on the new coalition to send a “clear message” to opposition fighters that they must adhere to human rights law. The rights group also urged those financing the opposition or providing weapons to express the same expectations.

Meanwhile, a Syrian warplane bombed a rebel-held town along the border with Turkey which was struck for a second day Tuesday. The jet struck Ras al-Ain, where activists say at least 12 people were killed in Monday's attack.

Turkey has seen a surge in Syrian refugees, including 11,000 who crossed the border late last week to escape the fighting.