Syria opposition: No talks until we have more arms

Syria opposition: No talks until we have more arms
Sun Jun 9, 2013 17:29:56

The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) say they will not attend an upcoming conference on the crisis in Syria unless they receive new supplies of arms, a top militant commander says.

Brigadier General Salim Idris, commander of the foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government, said in an interview with the New York Times on Friday that the militants would not take part in the conference due to be held in Geneva if they are not provided with new supplies of arms and ammunition.

“If we don’t receive ammunition and weapons to change the position on the ground, to change the balance on the ground, very frankly I can say we will not go to Geneva… There will be no Geneva,” Idris said.

On Wednesday, UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said the international conference to solve the crisis in Syria might be held in July. The peace talks had originally been planned to be held in June.

“The goal of the conference will be to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Syria through a comprehensive agreement between the government of Syria and the Syrian oppositions,” Brahimi said in a news conference after holding preparatory talks with delegations from the United Nations, US, and Russia in Geneva, adding that another preparatory meeting would be held on June 25.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad has said it will attend the talks without any pre-conditions. Since the announcement of the conference, the situation on the ground has drastically changed.

Over the past week, the Syrian Army have recaptured the strategic border town of al-Qusayr - an important center and supply route for the foreign-sponsored militants - and several villages near it. The government forces have also retaken the town of al-Daba’a and liberated the Quneitra Crossing - situated between Syria and the Golan Heights.

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