Al Jazeera Blogs

Syria Live Blog

Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba said Syria is now being run by regime allies Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Last modified: 18 Aug 2013 14:29

"Assad no longer runs Syria. The real rulers of Syria are the Iranian (elite) Revolutionary Guard... with the participation of (Lebanese Shiite) Hezbollah fighters," Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba told Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Hayat.

Jarba also told that Syrian rebels have seized control of "at least half" of the country, 29 months into an anti-Assad uprising. Assad is "a killer and a criminal, and... he has collapsed," the National Coalition chief charged.

The opposition leader reiterated the rebels' insistence that any settlement must exclude Assad, demanding that he be punished for the war crimes he has committed against the Syrian people.

Jarba said that supplying the rebel Free Syrian Army with sophisticated weaponry would "change the course of the revolution," despite Western fears that the arms could land in the hands of extremists.