Last updated: 28 January, 2012

Syrian opposition urges protests outside Russian embassies

The opposition Syrian National Council on Saturday urged Syria’s diaspora to protest outside Russian embassies against Moscow’s opposition to a draft resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council.

“We call upon all Syrians abroad to show solidarity with our people inside the country and protest against the Russian position by holding sit-ins in front of the embassies of the (Syrian) regime, Russian embassies, and at UN centres tomorrow Sunday at 2:00 pm their local time,” Samir Neshar, a member of the SNC’s executive committee, said at a news conference in Istanbul.

He also announced that the SNC would send a delegation to the United Nations on Sunday to demand the protection of Syrian civilians and accused Iran of taking part in the crackdown on protests by the Syrian regime.

European and Arab countries submitted a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council but Russia rejected the text on Thursday, opposing any form of sanctions or arms embargo against its former Syrian ally.

SNC president Burhan Ghalioun will head the delegation, Neshar said.

The SNC also condemned the alleged “participation of the Iranian regime in the killings of Syrians who demand freedom and call on it to stop taking part in the repression of the Syrian revolution in order to protect relations between the two peoples,” Neshar said.

Turkey, which cut ties with the Damascus regime, has hosted numerous meetings of the Syrian opposition and deserters from the Syrian army who are leading the armed opposition.

On Saturday, the Arab League suspended its observer mission in Syria because of an upsurge in violence there.