Syria, Egypt Clash as Rebels Claim MiG Shot Down
Damascus and Cairo clashed angrily at a Non-Aligned summit in Tehran on Thursday as rebels claimed to have shot down a MiG warplane over northwest Syria.
Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi caused a storm with a speech at the summit slamming the Syrian regime as “oppressive” and urging support for rebels out to topple President Bashar Assad.
“The revolution in Egypt is the cornerstone for the Arab Spring, which started days after Tunisia and then it was followed by Libya and Yemen and now the revolution in Syria against its oppressive regime,” Mursi said.
“Our solidarity with the struggle of Syrians against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is an ethical duty, and a political and strategic necessity,” he added.
With his delegation walking out in protest, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem swiftly accused Mursi of using his speech to incite further bloodshed in Syria.
The speech amounted to “interference in Syria’s internal affairs and … incites continued bloodshed in Syria,” he said, quoted from Tehran on Syrian state television.
On top of the regional pressure on Damascus, the U.N. Security Council was to meet later Thursday to tackle deteriorating humanitarian conditions inside Syria and along its borders, a day after Assad rejected moves to create buffer zones.