Syrian rebels facing 'genocide' attempt: Saudi FM
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal gestures during a press conference held in Jeddah (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Tuesday that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are carrying out genocide against opposition forces, during a press conference in Jeddah.
Noting the increased presence of Hezbollah and Iranian fighters backing Assad in the conflict, Faisal said that rebel forces need increased military backing in order to defend themselves.
“The most dangerous development is the foreign participation, represented by Hezbollah and other militias supported by the forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” said Faisal, as quoted by Reuters.
Faisal was also critical of the Russian policy to arm the Syrian government.
“The kingdom calls for issuing an unequivocal international resolution to halt the provision of arms to the Syrian regime and states the illegitimacy of the regime,” Faisal said, as quoted by Reuters.
Faisal was speaking after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry where the pair discussed co-ordinating support for the Syrian opposition forces.
The talks were held after Washington announced publicly for the first time that it would arm elements of the Syrian opposition, most likely Salam Idriss' Syrian Military Council, the main opposition group's military arm.
The Syrian uprising has escalated into a regional proxy war, drawing in Iran and Hezbollah behind the Syrian President, whilst Saudi Arabia nad Qatar have aligned with the rebel froces. At least 93,000 people have been killed as a result, according to the latest report published by the United Nations.