- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Syrian opposition activists on Wednesday dismissed U.S. plans to attack Syrian military sites and leave President Bashar Assad in power after he was accused of using chemical weapons in a two-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands.

The opposition Syrian Coalition also accused the Assad regime of massing political prisoners for use as human shields at military installations that could be targeted in a Western military offensive.

One activist told The Washington Times that the only way to “stop the killing” is to “kill the killer,” meaning Mr. Assad.

The White House this week said the possible attacks on Syrian military targets are retaliation for the chemical weapons attack but not an attempt to overthrow Mr. Assad.

Rawad Al-Shami, a Damascus-based Syrian opposition activist, asked, “Why strike the regime without completely destroying it.”

“Frankly, we do not endorse any [foreign] military involvement in Syria,” he told The Washington Times in a Skype interview.

“The majority of the Syrian people refuse any military intervention into Syria, but we do endorse the attacks targeting the regime solely. The question remains, though, if the Western countries are willing to attack the regime’s bases: Why strike the regime without completely destroying it?”

Sami Ibrahim, a Damascus-based spokesman for the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said the United States should have intervened in Syria in the early days of the revolution, which erupted in March2011. Since then, more than 100,000 have died in the conflict, according to U.N. estimates.

“Now it is too late, but to come late is better than not coming at all,” Mr. Ibrahim said in a Skype interview. “There is one way to stop the killing: Kill the killer.”

• Ashish Kumar Sen can be reached at asen@washingtontimes.com.

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