Skip to main content

Upset Syrian opposition says it will skip conference

By CNN Staff
updated 10:37 PM EST, Fri February 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Coalition says it is tired of hearing promises
  • U.S. believes boycott won't help opposition cause
  • Syrian National Coalition unhappy with Western response
  • It says it will suspend attending Friends of Syria meeting

(CNN) -- The Syrian National Coalition, the country's principal opposition group, says it is suspending its participation in the upcoming Friends of Syria conference in Rome "in protest of the shameful international position."

After missiles killed dozens in Aleppo on Friday, the group said on its Facebook page that it "considers the international silence toward the crimes committed every day against our people is, in effect, participation in the ongoing slaughter for the last two years."

Adib Shishakly, representative of the Syrian National Coalition to the Gulf Cooperation Council, told CNN on Friday, "enough is enough. The whole world is not doing anything. We are not going to more conferences. We are not going to Rome. We are not going to Moscow."

He said Scud missiles were used in the Aleppo shelling.

Exiled Syrian writer: Why I fled
Car bomb explodes in central Damascus
Who controls what in Syria?
Inside Syria's dention centers
Syrians refugees find stability in Iraq

The opposition is tired of international community holding meetings without providing needed assistance, Shishakly said.

Rebels want military aid, including arms and training.

"We want the U.S. to help the people on the ground," said Shishakly, adding other nations must pressure Iran to stop providing ballistic missiles to the Syrian government.

The Friends of Syria is a collection of dozens of countries trying to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.

A senior U.S. official told CNN that the Syrian coalition had not notified the United States of its decision ahead of its announcement.

Regardless, boycotting the Rome meeting next week would be counterproductive to the opposition, the official said.

The meeting will provide the opposition its first opportunity to meet new Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the official. It also will cover streamlining efforts to get aid directly to the group.

The Syrian National Coalition also is not accepting invitations to visit Washington, D.C., and Moscow.

The rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad's government began in earnest in May 2011 as a wave of uprisings spread across the Arab world, including Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Egypt.

The United Nations recently estimated 70,000 people have died in the fighting in Syria.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees in Syria said 213 people were killed Friday, including 92 in Aleppo. It said 307 demonstrations occurred across the country. CNN could not independently verify those numbers.

CNN's Elise Labott and Amir Ahmed contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 5:19 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT