The former foreign secretary David Miliband has told ITV's The Agenda that: "We are on the back foot on Syria." Opposition fighters claim to have captured the northeastern city of Raqqa, with crowds toppling a statue of President Assad's father.
Speaking on The Agenda about the situation in Syria, David Miliband said:
We are on the back foot on Syria. Not just the humanitarian 70,000 people but the geo-politics, refugees in Turkey and Jordan, destabilisation within Syria, the whole state collapsing, the Middle East rocked by essentially by a Saudi versus Iranian proxy war going on in Syria.
I think that is something where the burden of proof is now on those who don't want to intervene rather than those who do. It's still a huge decision, it's still got to be the last resort.
But my fear is this - if we're back in a year's time and we haven't done anything Assad will still be there. He will have murdered another 30,000 people and the ricochet effects from Syria will be much greater.
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Syrian opposition fighters have captured the eastern city of Raqqa, the region's representative at the opposition Syrian National Coalition told Reuters.
If confirmed, the fall of the provincial capital, on the Euphrates River 160 km (100 miles) east of Aleppo, would make it the first major city taken by the opposition since a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad broke out two years ago.
A resident also said the city had fallen and said a Syrian military intelligence compound in the city centre was surrounded by rebels.
He added that crowds had pulled down a statue of President Assad's father in the main square nearby.