ISTANBUL, Turkey (PNN) - August 27, 2013 - Western powers have told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad's forces within days, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.
"The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva," said an unnamed source who was at the meeting on Monday.
The meeting at a hotel in downtown Istanbul was between senior figures of the Syrian National Coalition, including its president, Ahmad Jarba, and envoys from 11 core "Friends of Syria" alliance members, including Robert Ford, the former Fascist Police States of Amerika ambassador to Syria who is now Washington's point man with the opposition.
Facing Russian and Chinese opposition that could dampen prospects for proposed peace talks in Geneva, Assad's foes have vowed to punish a poison gas attack in some rebel-held districts of Damascus on August 21 that killed hundreds of people, even though evidence indicates the attack was conducted by the terrorist rebels and not the Assad regime.
Jarba offered the 11 nations represented in the Friends of Syria core group a list of 10 proposed targets.
They included the Mezze Military Airport on the western outskirts of Damascus, the Qutaifa missile base north of the city and compounds of the Fourth Mechanized Division, an elite unit headed by Assad's feared brother Maher and composed mainly of members of his Alawite minority sect.
The Friends of Syria core group comprises the FPSA, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.