SYRIAN REBELS THREATEN PEACE TALKS




Rebels have said that they will boycott the peace talks that are to be held later in the month by Russia and Turkey due to violations from the government military

Mahin Siddiki – TDO –According to the Syrian rebel’s statement, “The regime and its allies have continued firing and committed many and large violations”. Therefore, the rebel forces have announced that they are boycotting the peace talks, to be held later in the month in Astana, Kazakhstan, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey.

The statement highlights the fighting that has been going on in the rebel-held region of Wadi Barada. Allegedly, almost daily, there have been bombing raids in the area. The rebels have accused the government of trying to recapture the area because of its geographical proximity to Damascus, and because it also supplies water to the capital.

The military has denied the accusations of the rebel forces concerning the violation of the ceasefire and in large, the peace talks.

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed to the Russia-Turkey ceasefire deal, and attempt at peace talks on New Year’s Eve. The ceasefire deal concerns Syria as a whole, but excludes the terrorist groups; Islamic State (IS), Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), and the Kurdish militia group (YPG), and their allies. The JFS have already said that they will continue to oppose the governance of Bashar al-Assad. Members of the group are currently operating in the province of Idlib as part of a rebel alliance.

The YPG was declared a terrorist group by Turkey, following their occupation of large areas of land in north-eastern Syria.

Although the ceasefire and the peace talks are supposedly applicable all throughout Syria, the real concern for both sides who have brokered the peace talks are the areas where they have presence—western Syria.