BEIRUT

Middle East

'Freedom Convoy' to try to cross Syria border

  • Member of the Syrian National Council (SNC), Basma Gadhmani smiles at a press conference on December 19, 2011 in Tunis. (AFP PHOTO/ FETHI BELAID)

ISTANBUL: Hundreds of Syrian and international activists will try to cross into Syria from Turkey and Jordan on Thursday in a bid to take humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, various sources said.

"Our aim is ... to deliver humanitarian aid to the families in the afflicted areas that suffer from daily brutal bombing and totally unacceptable living conditions," said a statement posted on the website of the group called "Freedom Convoy".

The group composed of around 1,500 "independent young Syrians" accompanied by peace activists from all over the world intends to cross the border Thursday from Gaziantep in the southeast Turkey and from Ramtha, Jordan.

If Syrian authorities refuse to let them cross, activists say they will stage a three-day sit-in protest on both sides of the border, with the participation of Syrian artists.

Basma Qadmani, of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), told AFP that the SNC "fully supports this initiative."

"We think it is a sincere effort to challenge the regime and draw the attention of the international community to the seriousness of the situation on the ground," she added.

Qadmani confirmed that 1,500 activists would take part in the convoy.

"We know that this is roughly the number of people who will go there," she said.

Interviewed by telephone, Freedom Convoy activist Zeyna Adi said the group would try to cross into Syria through Kilis, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Gaziantep, on the road to Aleppo, Syria's second largest city.

"We will have at least 500 people in Kilis," said the Syrian who came from Qatar to take part in the convoy.

 
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