France warns extremists could prevail in Syria

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Associated Press

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 8:04 PM

PARIS (AP) — France is warning that extremists could prevail in Syria, if the international community fails to honor its pledges of support for rebels fighting against the government of Bashar Assad.

There's increasing concern about the rising power of Islamic militant groups that have joined the rebels.

And France's foreign minister told diplomats from more than 50 nations who gathered in Paris today that when a government collapses, extremists can gain ground "if we do not act as we should." He called for "increased and concrete support" for the Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella group for the opposition.

Leaders of that group today urged the envoys to provide money and political backing. They say even though more than 100 countries have described the group to be the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, very little aid has trickled in.

More than $100 million was promised at a conference in Morocco last month, but it's unclear how much has been sent.

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150-a-15-(George Sabra (SAH'-brah), co-vice president of the Syrian National Coalition, at news conference)-"about the government"-George Sabra, Syrian National Coalition spokesman, says they need international funding now and in the future. (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *150 (01/28/13)>> 00:15 "about the government"

151-a-11-(George Sabra (SAH'-brah), co-vice president of the Syrian National Coalition, at news conference)-"to protect ourselves"-George Sabra, Syrian National Coalition spokesman, says they need weapons to fight the Syrian regime. (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *151 (01/28/13)>> 00:11 "to protect ourselves"

APPHOTO CAI110: In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, A Free Syrian Army soldier flashes the victory sign, as damages caused by barrels fired from warplanes and rocket launchers is seen at background in Hama, Syria, on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) (28 Jan 2013)

<<APPHOTO CAI110 (01/28/13)>>

APPHOTO CAI111: In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Smoke rises from heavy shelling in Deir el-Zour, Syria, on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) (28 Jan 2013)

<<APPHOTO CAI111 (01/28/13)>>

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