Damascus raps opposition on terrorism

Damascus raps opposition on terrorism
Sun Feb 2, 2014 10:09:32

Damascus says the foreign-backed opposition’s refusal to sign a declaration condemning “terrorism” in Syria is "a stain" on the group.

On Saturday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem made the remarks on the plane back home from 10 days of talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva on the crisis in Syria.

Muallem said the Syrian government delegation had agreed to discuss everything during the Geneva talks, but the opposition refused to address the issue of terrorism and threatened to derail talks.

A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.

The extracts of the study by defense consultancy, IHS Jane's, were published on September 16.

IHS Jane's estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front, and the rest fight for different militant groups.

The Geneva II talks kicked off in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22. The Syrian government and foreign-backed opposition as well as dozens of nations participated in the event.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- support the militants operating inside the country.

More than 130,000 people have been killed and two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced in 2014.


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