Russia asks for meeting with Syrian coalition
RUSSIA has requested a first meeting with the new Syrian Opposition Coalition and told President Bashar al-Assad to negotiate with his enemies to end 21 months of bloodshed.
The move came as Syrian rebels stepped up their siege of a government helicopter base near Aleppo's international airport, part of an effort to chip away at the air power that poses the biggest challenge to their advances against the regime of President Bashar Assad.
That airborne threat came into stark relief yesterday when a government airstrike on a northern town killed 14 people - most of them women and children, activists said. Rebels have surrounded four airports in the northern province of Aleppo, firing on all approaching aircraft with heavy machine guns.