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Preparations underway to Host Syrian Opposition Conference in Saudi Arabia

Preparations underway to Host Syrian Opposition Conference in Saudi Arabia

Sunday, 19 November, 2017 - 06:30
A Syrian woman walks past damaged buildings in Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria November 15, 2017. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia will host on Sunday the preparatory meetings for the representatives of the political and independent Syrian figures ahead of its hosting of an expanded meeting for the Syrian opposition from November 22 to 24.

Sources from the opposition said that efforts are focusing on ensuring the success of the meeting that will see the participation of some 140 members of the Syrian National Coalition, Coordination Committee and Cairo and Moscow independent platforms.

The gatherers will seek to come out with a united stance, which they will voice later this month at the Geneva negotiations.

Meanwhile, various sources said that the Syrian regime and its affiliated militias seized the greater part of the city of Albu Kamal, near the Iraqi border, from the clutches of the ISIS terrorist group.

On the diplomatic front, Russia stirred outrage at the United Nations Security Council when it vetoed a draft-resolution presented by Japan to extend the term of the UN team that is investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The proposal sought to extend the term by one month.

The Syrian National Coalition later accused the regime of committing a new massacre in the country when it carried out airstrikes against residential areas in the town of Madera in eastern Ghouta in the Damascus countryside.

Some 23 civilians were killed on Saturday in air strikes and artillery shelling on Ghouta towns and cities.

The Coalition declared that the attacks “carried out by the regime and Russians against civilians in Damascus and its countryside are hindering the political solution and are aimed at continuing the cycle of killing and crimes.”

It said that as Russia vetoed the extension of the UN chemical weapons’ team, the regime once again carried out a chemical attack with the use of chlorine gas in eastern Ghouta.

It said that the chemical attack took place on November 17, targeting the regions of Hrasta in eastern Ghouta. The regime also dropped explosive barrels carrying Chlorine on Beit Jin in the western Damascus countryside.

The Coalition reported cases of suffocation after the spread of the odor of Chlorine and a yellow smoke.

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