In response to both the Russian and Iranian governments arming Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s murderous campaign against his country’s citizens, a prominent leader of the Syrian opposition abroad has declared terrorism against Russian and Iranian citizens will be a justifiable tool in the Syrian peoples’ fight for independence.
The opposition leader, Haitham al-Maleh, claimed, “Russia, along with Iran, provides Bashar al-Assad’s regime with weapons and ammunition, and supports it politically, therefore the citizens of these countries present legitimate targets for militants in Syria.”
Al-Maleh’s comments came on December 19, 2012 in Dubai, where Syrian opposition leaders have congregated and based their diplomatic efforts in their struggle against the oppression of the al-Assad regime.
Haitham al-Maleh is widely respected as a politician among the rebel commanders fighting on the ground in Syria, but has no direct power in their operational choices. However, some rebel leaders have already threatened to attack Russian and Iranian embassies, along with their civilians. Al-Maleh’s comments represent as official of a stance as an unrecognized opposition can make.
This new approach could possibly frustrate western nations’ efforts to recognize the opposition and assist the rebels against the al-Assad regime. Complicating the matter further, al-Maleh also stated that his interpretation of the Geneva Convention allows citizens who collaborate with an opposing side to be targeted for death.
Al-Maleh has long been regarded as a great defender of human-rights in Syria, receiving many awards for his efforts in the country against tyranny.