February 2, 2013 - 13:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - In an address to the 49th annual Munich Security Conference, the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib called on the international community to intervene militarily in Syria's two-year civil war, while he at the same time offered direct negotiations with Damascus in exchange for a prisoner release, Deutsche Welle reports.
'"As a gesture of goodwill ... we are ready to sit at the negotiating table with the regime, but we don't want their hands to be full of blood," Khatib said through an interpreter at the conference in Munich.
The Sunni preacher originally made the offer to negotiate with the Assad regime earlier this week, saying he would do whatever it took to ease the suffering of the Syrian people. But the apparent olive branch - a major break with the opposition's uncompromising campaign against Assad - caused uproar within the Syrian National Coalition. The umbrella opposition group subsequently said that Assad's departure from power was a precondition for a negotiated settlement.
During his address, Khatib then called for the U.S. and other governments to provide the rebels with "some kind of electronic interference" to prevent regime warplanes from bombing the Syrian people.
He then demanded a full-blown military intervention if such equipment failed to stop the air raids. "If that doesn't work, I would demand to destroy the planes and weapons of the Syrian regime, because it's just not acceptable for the international community to be a bystander just watching what's happening to the Syrian people."