Syria opposition says is ready for talks

Syria opposition says is ready for talks
Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:44:25

New head of the Syrian exile opposition says he is ready to meet Syrian government officials as the Syrian army gains more ground in several battlefields in the country.

Group’s new president, Ahmad al-Jarba, said in an interview in New York on Saturday that he is ready to attend Geneva talks with no preconditions.

The group had previously refused political solutions until they reach what they called a balance in the battleground.

Their stance was supported by US Secretary of State John Kerry in a June meeting in Doha who called on all attendants to step up their military support to the militants so that they could compensate their losses.

Kerry’s remarks were strongly criticized by Russia and the Syrian government as a blow to efforts for reaching settlement through talks.

“We believe there should be a precise time frame,” Jarba said regarding the talks.

Jarba, who met last week with Kerry, said that he would not propose a specific deadline until the talks are closer at hand.

But Burhan Ghalioun, a Syrian opposition member who participated in the meeting with Kerry, said that the opposition believes “Geneva must accomplish something in the first six months.”

With the death toll among both sides in Syria exceeding 100,000, Washington has not retreated from its military support to the militants.

Strongest armed groups fighting against the Syrian army are radical and terrorist groups, some affiliated with al-Qaeda. 

Despite enormous reports of violent crimes against civilians and army soldiers, the Syrian opposition has not ruled out their participation in the war and is using their force to topple the government.

Jarba said he plans to set up civilian courts in those areas which have been occupied by the insurgents to replace previous ones which were set up for punishing and executing people and captured soldiers of the country.

Insurgents, especially radical al-Nusra Front members, have a common practice of setting up field courts of their own to punish those who opposed them or somehow broke their rules.

Brutal killing of a 14-year old boy during one of their executions in Aleppo turned to a symbol of rebel-held Syria.

The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following intervention of western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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