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7 Jul, 2013 21:51

Syrian opposition offers Homs ceasefire to Assad for Ramadan - SNC President

Syrian opposition offers Homs ceasefire to Assad for Ramadan - SNC President

The Syrian opposition has offered Assad's forces a truce for the duration of the holy month of Ramadan to stop fighting in the besieged city of Homs, Reuters reports citing Syrian National Coalition chief Ahmad Jarba.

In his first interview to the news agency since the vote, Jabra also said that the Syrian main opposition group would not attend the Geneva conference, brokered by the US and Russia unless they gain more military power.

"Geneva in these circumstances is not possible. If we are going to go to Geneva we have to be strong on the ground, unlike the situation now, which is weak. We cannot go to Geneva unless we are strong,"
Syria National Coalition chief was quoted as saying.   

Ahmad Jabra, who has close links to Saudi Arabia, said that he hopes shoulder-fired weapons will reach the rebels “soon”.

"We are pushing in this direction," he said. "I think the situation is better than before. I think these weapons will arrive in Syria soon."

"My priority to secure two-tier support for the Syrian people: military and humanitarian. We are working qualitative and medium and other weapons to reach the Free Syrian army and the liberated areas," he said.

Jabra  was speaking in Istanbul where he was elected president of the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting this weekend following the resignation of former president Moaz Alkhatib earlier this year. On July 6, Assad forces seized control of buildings in a rebel-held area of Homs, a strategically important city located between the capital Damascus and the Syrian coast.

Some of the worst fighting in the civil war has taken place in the besieged city of Homs with government troops using mortars, rocket fire and heavy artillery to target rebel areas, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The group estimated 60 to 70 percent of the city was “damaged, destroyed or unsuitable for habitation."

"Of all Syria's cities, Homs has suffered the highest levels of destruction... Images of Homs make it look like a world war has hit the city. Much of it has been flattened," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said as cited by AFP.