Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

France explores idea of arming Syrian rebels

PARIS— France raised the possibility Thursday of sending “defensive weapons” to Syria’s rebels, but Russia warned that such a move would violate international law.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country will ask the European Union to consider lifting the Syrian arms embargo, which prevents weapons from being sent to either side.

“We must not militarize the conflict … but it’s obviously unacceptable that there are liberated zones and they’re bombed” by President Bashar Assad’s regime, Fabius said in an interview with RTL radio. “We have to find a good balance.”

The civil war in Syria, which began as an uprising against Assad’s regime, has killed more than 36,000 Syrians since March 2011, according to anti-government activists. The fighting and flood of refugees seeking safety have also spilled over into several of Syria’s neighbors, including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

The fighting has descended into a bloody stalemate, and rebels say they desperately need weapons to turn the tide.

“The question of defensive arms will be raised,” Fabius said, without providing details about what such arms would be. “This cannot be done without coordination between Europeans.”

The topic of Syria is sure to be on the agenda at the EU foreign ministers meeting Monday in Brussels.

France has taken a leading role among Western countries in supporting Syria’s rebels. On Tuesday, it became the first Western nation to formally recognize Syria’s newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

On Saturday, the president of the new opposition coalition, the 52-year-old preacher-turned activist Mouaz al-Khatib, is to visit Paris and meet with President Francois Hollande. Al-Khatib is scheduled to hold talks a day earlier in London with British officials, who have said they will urge the opposition to set out a strategy to halt the conflict.

Syria’s splintered rebel factions agreed to a U.S.-backed plan to unite last weekend under the new umbrella group, which seeks a common voice and strategy against the regime.

A French diplomatic official said Thursday that Paris sees quick recognition as a primary way to assure success for the opposition.

“There won’t be many other occasions like this,” said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked not to be named. “We have a collective responsibility, to the Syrians and ourselves, to make this live.”

Turkey, which shares a long border with Syria and is a major backer of the opposition, followed suit on Thursday, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying Ankara recognized the Syrian National Coalition as “the only legal representative” of Syria, the Anadolu news agency reported.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council already has recognized the new broad-based Syrian opposition group. The GCC includes Qatar and regional power Saudi Arabia, both of whom have been some of the strongest supporters of the rebels fighting to oust Assad.

The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar on Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the sole representative, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country.

President Obama on Wednesday reiterated that the U.S. isn’t considering sending weapons to the opposition because of concerns the arms might end up in the hands of extremists.

Although Assad remains isolated internationally, he still has the backing of key allies Russia, China and Iran.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich warned that providing assistance to Syrian opposition fighters would breach international law.

He specifically cited a 1970 United Nations document saying that no country should help or finance military action aimed at the violent overthrow of a foreign government. He also said the opposition’s refusal to hold talks with Assad would “strengthen positions of extremists.”

Lukashevich said Russia will continue its contacts with both the government and the opposition to encourage them to sit down for talks. “There is no alternative to an inclusive dialogue without any foreign interference,” he said.

Despite myriad attempts over the past year to reach a diplomatic solution to the crisis, violence has continued unabated on the ground.

Syrian activists said regime warplanes carried out airstrikes Thursday on an eastern town bordering Iraq after rebels seized a security headquarters following days of heavy fighting.

Rebels had been making advances in the town of al-Boukamal in the oil-rich province of Deir el-Zour for weeks. On Thursday, they seized control of the military security building and a military checkpoint at the edge of the town.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a local activist who gave only his first name, Omar, said Syrian regime forces retaliated with air raids on al-Boukamal. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

The Observatory also said it received a report from Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the epicenter of some of the worst fighting, that dozens of soldiers’ bodies were being held at the international airport. The men apparently had been killed in fighting, but authorities were delaying returning the soldiers’ bodies to their families.

It was impossible to independently confirm the report.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates square off at forum

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Carli takes oath, now Vacaville’s 14th police chief

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Huge jump in Solano median home price

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

Donate a car, help build a house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Solano DA hosts workshop to fight human trafficking

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Suisun water rates won’t rise this year

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Fairfield town hall on crime delayed

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Railway museum offers wine-tasting rides

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
 
Drugs topic of cardiac class

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Weather for April 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun Police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Armed robber was never told to report to prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Body of California man who jumped into river found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Seabird from Atlantic spotted on Alcatraz

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-Bell city leader gets 12 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Court rules for environmentalists in water fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Denver police eye 911 response time after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

In support of Pam Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

 
Parenting demands responsibility

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Let’s stop Fairfield’s future thugs

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Obamacare news you probably missed

By Martin Schram | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 17, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

A lesson in household budgeting

By Chris Erskine | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for April 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Alicia Silverstone out with book ‘Kind Mama’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ailing Malcolm Young taking break from AC/DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Disney Channel’s ‘Jessie’ breaks romantic ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Vacaville’s Peralta to wrestle at San Francisco State

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Angels beat A’s 5-4 on Iannetta’s HR in 12th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

MEL, SCAC tangle in hoops all-star games

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Sharks take goalie questions into rematch vs Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Crawford’s 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

IndyCar driver Saavedra fined $10K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandoval’s single lifts Giants past Dodgers, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Officer: Sharper’s DNA found on 1 Arizona victim

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Backup QB Matt Flynn returns to Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sidney Rice agrees to terms with Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodwin helps Suns to 104-99 win over Kings in finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Google’s 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9