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Anti-Assad Coalition Asks US to Establish Safe Havens - Syrian Opposition

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahA man operates a front loader as he removes debris at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Thawra neighborhood in Idlib city April 20, 2015
A man operates a front loader as he removes debris at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Thawra neighborhood in Idlib city April 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Syrian opposition forces asked the United States for help in the creation of safety zones on rebel-controlled territory, Syrian Opposition Council President Khaled Khoja said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Since 2014, Syrian opposition figures and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have pressed US President Barack Obama to establish buffer-zones and safe havens in Syria.

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“[W]e are here also to ask the assistance of the United States in establishing safe havens in liberated areas,” Khoja said on Thursday.

The Syrian opposition leader said he looked forward to discussing the latest political and military developments in Syria during a meet with Kerry slated for later on Thursday.

The United States, Khoja added, has given the Syrian people more than $3 billion in assistance and has recognized the Syrian Opposition Council as the legitimate government in Syria.

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“President Assad has no legitimacy and he is not part of the future of Syria,” Khoja said.

Assad needs to be prosecuted and subjected to a fair trial, Khoja claimed, for the crimes he has committed against the people of Syria.

Syria has been torn by civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to Assad currently fighting numerous militant groups, including the al-Nusra Front and Sunni Islamic State radicals.

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