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Saudi says 'cannot be silent' at Iran, Hezbollah involvement in Syria

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia regards the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria's civil war as dangerous and believes the rebels must be offered military aid to defend themselves, the kingdom's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference with U.S. Secretary John Kerry in Jeddah, Prince Saud al-Faisal added that Saudi Arabia "cannot be silent" about Iranian intervention and called for a resolution to ban arms flows to the Syrian government.

"The kingdom calls for issuing an unequivocal international resolution to halt the provision of arms to the Syrian regime and states the illegitimacy of the regime," Prince Saud said.

More than 93,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which began as a popular protest movement against President Bashar al-Assad but has descended into a civil war with sectarian overtones.

Nearly 1.7 million refugees have fled into neighboring countries, including Lebanon, where clashes between armed groups supporting opposing sides in Syria have fuelled fears of a lapse back into sectarian civil war.

(Reporting By Mahmoud Habboush and Lesley Wroughton, Writing by Angus McDowall, Editing by William Maclean)

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