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West looks to ‘encourage coup’ against Assad

Published: Updated:

Western powers are attempting “to encourage a coup” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, by promising his close military aides that they will have roles in a rebuilt Syria, The Times reported.

A proposal by world leaders during the G8 summit provides protection for Syrian regime’s senior military personnel, security services and government officials after Assad’s ouster, the newspaper reported.

The G8 aimed to encourage Assad loyalists, who know “in their hearts” that it is time for him to leave, that a post-Assad Syria will not fall into chaos, British Prime Minister David Cameron said at the close of the summit in Northern Ireland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ended the summit on “a fractious note,” The Times reported, when he compared arming the Syrian opposition to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Putin said military equipment sent by France, Britain or the United States “would end up in the hands of the sort of people who killed the soldier in Woolwich last month,” the newspaper reported said.

“Many” among the Syrian opposition “are exactly the same as the ones who perpetrated the killing in London,” Putin said.