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Syria

Syrian National Coalition opens first embassy in Qatar

The Syrian opposition has inaugurated its first embassy at a ceremony in Qatar. This comes as NATO declines an opposition request to provide missile cover for rebels and civilians.

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib Khatib, who serves as head of the Syrian National Coalition, attended the opening ceremony on Wednesday for the first embassy of the Syrian National Coalition, which is located at a different site than the former Syrian embassy in Doha. Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled al-Attiya was also on hand. Qatar has repeatedly urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

The new embassy opened a day after the Syrian opposition was given the seat formerly held by al-Assad at the Arab League.

Meanwhile, Khatib told an Arab League summit in Doha on Wednesday that he had requested an extension of the umbrella provided by Patriot anti-missile batteries positioned in Turkey to protect rebel-held parts of north Syria but the request had been turned down.

"There is an international will that the revolution does not come out victorious," said Khatib. "But the people that have defied injustice and tyranny will not stop."

Khatib still acts as the head of the coalition despite announcing his resignation on Sunday.

mkg/mz (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)