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May turn to al Qaeda if West fails us: rebels

world Updated: Aug 17, 2012 01:12 IST

With the West still refusing to arm Syria’s opposition in the bloody fight against the regime, rebels in the flashpoint city of Aleppo warn that they could turn to al Qaeda for help.

“We don’t want al Qaeda here, but if nobody else helps us, we will make an alliance with them,” said Abu Ammar, a rebel commander in the central Bab al-Nasr district of Aleppo.

“And you can bet if al Qaeda comes here, they will brainwash the people,” he said. “If al Qaeda enters Aleppo, the city will become their base within three months.”

He pleaded: “We want them to give us weapons to defend ourselves or to intervene militarily. We are angry. The Syrian people still like the European countries, but if it continues like this, you end up hating them.”

Syria’s opposition has frequently called on a divided international community to act to halt President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign of repression.