Syria Conflict

Syria Opposition Deal under Fire ahead of US-Russia Meeting

Syria Opposition Deal under Fire ahead of US-Russia Meeting
Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:03:42

Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate on Saturday rejected the outcome of an opposition summit that agreed to negotiate with President Bashar al-Assad, and Russia denounced the gathering in Saudi Arabia as unrepresentative.

The latest developments come with US Secretary of State John Kerry due in Moscow Tuesday in a new bid to push for a peace plan to end Syria’s nearly five-year conflict.

In a sign of the tough task ahead, at least 16 people were killed in the Syrian city of Homs Saturday in an attack claimed by the ISIS terrorist group.

The Moscow meeting would build on the momentum of Vienna talks last month and an unprecedented two-day gathering this week in Riyadh among Syria’s main political and armed opposition groups.

Those talks yielded an agreement to negotiate with Assad’s government, but also insisted that the president step down at the start of any political transition.

But Al-Nusra Front chief Abu Mohamed al-Jolani rejected the outcome of the talks as a “plot” and accused rebels who had attended of “treason.”

“It is a plot, not a conference. Such ... gatherings must be foiled,” said Jolani, the head of the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, in an interview with Dubai-based Syrian opposition television Orient News.

Jolani said the opposition had met under international “pressure” but warned that even if they reached agreement “they do not have the power to implement it on the ground;” AFP reported.

S/SH

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