Jumblat: Syrian Regime Prime Culprit behind Aleppo Fire, Destructionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Monday voiced regret over the recent burning of several souks in the war-torn northern Syrian city of Aleppo, stressing that the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad was “the prime culprit” behind the destruction in Syria's second city.
“The city of Aleppo is burning and turning into rubble and debris amid a state of indifference, not to say collusion by all the parties and forces involved in the Syrian crisis,” said Jumblat in his weekly editorial in al-Anbaa newspaper, his party's mouthpiece.
Syrian activists said fierce clashes between government forces and rebels in the historic districts of Aleppo triggered a major fire in the city's medieval souks, or markets.
The covered souks, some of the Middle East's largest, were once a major tourist attraction.
Rebels fighting to topple Assad launched Thursday an offensive to drive his forces out of Syria's largest city and commercial hub.
“The first culprit behind the burning and destruction (of Aleppo) is the Syrian regime, which is seeking survival at any cost, even if it was at the expense of Syria's unity and above the bodies and human remains and the ruins of the cities,” Jumblat added.
The Druze leader also blasted the Syrian regime's key allies, Russia and Iran, over the destruction in Aleppo and their support for Assad.
Jumblat did not spare the so-called Friends of Syria grouping of nations, saying they have refrained from offering real support to the Syrian opposition and urging them to provide rebels with “anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems in order to accelerate the toppling of the regime.”
The PSP leader also slammed some of the new factions of the armed Syrian opposition over the blaze that gutted Aleppo's souks.
“Some of those factions, and their supporters, do not care about the heritage of the city of Aleppo and its ancient cultural and historic sites,” Jumblat lamented.
Turning to the political scene, Jumblat called on the fragmented Syrian opposition to close ranks and produce a “unified central leadership” in order to be able to bring down Assad's regime.