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Syria Live: International Support for the Insurgency? 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US Secretary of State John Kerry at Saturday's Friends of Syria meeting

See also Bahrain (and Beyond) Live: The Protests, the Opposition, and the Grand Prix
Saturday's Syria Live: "Terrorists Eliminated by Army Operations"

1935 GMT: Opposition Criticises Lack of International Action

Moaz al-Khatib, the leader of the Syrian National Opposition Coalition, has confirmed the resignation he announced last month.

A Coalition official said, "Khatib is resigning to denounce the international community's lack of real action on behalf of the Syrian people," after the opposition requested "specific, precise and immediate action to protect Syrian civilians from the use of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons".

Khatib had met US Secretary of State John Kerry before Saturday's Friends of Syria meeting. Kerry announced a doubling of "non-lethal" aid to $120 million from Washington, but it was not enough to satisfy the Coalition.

"The result in Istanbul was less than the Syrian people expected," Hisham Marwa, a senior member of the Coalition, said. "The US said that the use of chemical weapons was a red line for the Assad regime but the regime is using them and nothing has happened. We expected more. Russia sends Assad tonnes of weapons every week."

1925 GMT: Mass Killing

Activists are claiming a mass killing by regime forces in Jdeidat Artouz near Damascus, with at least 80 people slain.

Yesterday Free Syrian Army forces said they were withdrawing from the area to prevent harm to civilians from conflict.

Videos and pictures appear to back up the activist reports.

1355 GMT: Clashes Near Lebanon Border

Reports indicate that fighting is continuing close to the insurgent-held town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon.

Three new shells launched from the Qusayr area landed in eastern Lebanon, the official National News Agency reported, in what activists described as retaliation for the Lebanese organisation Hezbollah's involvement in the war.

Qusayr has been under insurgent control for more than a year.

The Syrian army reportedly secured the road linking the Lebanese-Syrian border along the Orontes river to the west of Qusayr.

Pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan said, "The army has control over villages near Qusayr. There is a big change in the army's tactics. It has become more precise in securing its objectives."

The daily claimed more than 100 "terrorists" who tried to storm Dabaa airport in the area "were killed in an ambush set by the army".

1005 GMT: Regime Line

The pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper has criticised the US for doubling its "non-lethal" aid to the opposition to $120 million.

"The meeting of the so-called 'Friends of Syria' held in Istanbul yesterday has thrown oil on the fire of the Syrian conflict," the paper said.

0540 GMT: Opposition

Following Saturday's Friends of Syria meeting, the Syrian National Coalition has put out a statement rejecting "all forms of terrorism" and vowing to keep weapons out of the "wrong hands".

The opposition declared that its goal is a "democratic, pluralistic" Syria.

0450 GMT: Casualties

The Local Coordination Committees claim that 82 people were killed on Saturday, including 28 in Damascus and its suburbs, 17 in Aleppo Province, and 13 in Homs Province.

The Violations Documentation Center reports 57,530 people killed since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 122 from Saturday.

Of the dead, 45,467 are civilians, a rise of 52 from yesterday.

0435 GMT: Aid to Insurgents

The headline this morning from Saturday's Friends of Syria meeting, in which 11 countries considered their relationship with the opposition and insurgency, is that the US doubled its "non-lethal aid" to $120 million.

That line, however, obscures the bigger news --- or non-news --- that precious little information emerged from the discussion. For example, the representatives of the US, European nations, Arab States, and Turkey offered no clarification on the state of arms supplies to insurgents.

Unsurprisingly, the Friends of Syria made no reference to the already-existing covert effort to get weapons to "moderate" insurgents across the Turkish and Jordanian borders. What is still unclear, however, is whether the group will move to a public, co-ordinated confirmation of that supply.

Amid continuing reports that Britain and France will seek to end an European Union embargo on arms to all sides, thus authorising support of insurgents, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made one of the few public statements of note

We expect from the opposition that they clearly distance themselves in Syria from terrorist and extremist forces. We are skeptical as the German government when it comes to delivering weapons because we are concerned that weapons could fall into the wrong, namely extremist, hands, but it is a matter that must now be discussed in the European Union.

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