Gen. Idriss says Assad departure must precede talks

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idriss on aljazeeraSyrian rebel military chief Salim Idriss yesterday appeared to torpedo the US-Russian proposed Geneva conference to end the bloodshed in Syria less than 24 hours after western and Arab supporters pledged to provide rebels with urgent military aid.

Speaking to al-Jazeera from Antakya in Turkey, Gen Idriss said the opposition would not participate in negotiations until rebels controlled Aleppo, Damascus and Deraa, and president Bashar al-Assad and his generals left the country.

Gen Idriss had said previously the opposition would go to Geneva if supporters provided weapons to redress imbalances in firepower.

At the end of their meeting in Qatar on Saturday, 11 foreign ministers of the Friends of Syria group said “each country in its own way” would provide “urgently all the necessary material and equipment” so rebels could “counter brutal attacks by the regime and its allies and protect the Syrian people”.

Training rebels
In spite of the pledge and reports that 1,000 US troops are training rebel fighters in Jordan, US secretary of state John Kerry said Washington remained committed to the Geneva conference and a transitional government chosen by both Mr Assad and the opposition.

Syrian deputy information minister Khalaf al-Moftah dubbed the Qatari gathering a “conspiracy against Syria” and said it “contradicts” the planned Geneva conference aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis peacefully.

syria mezza bomb
Suicide bombers struck in Mezza 86, a strongly pro-government district of Damascus, killing two.  June 23, 2013. Photograph: Reuters/Sana

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticised external powers sending weapons to Syria. Damascus’s main regional ally Tehran has repeatedly condemned the military aid given to the rebels by other governments.

In Syria, the army repelled an attack on the strategic Minnegh military airport in Aleppo province as 12 soldiers were killed in a car bomb in Aleppo city. Suicide bombers struck in Mezza 86, a strongly pro-government district of Damascus, killing two, and in the northern suburb of Ruk en-Din, killing three.

Irish Times

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6 responses to “Gen. Idriss says Assad departure must precede talks”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    I guess Nastyrallah changed another mind.

    1. dateam Avatar

      Why do you think the americans have not fully armed them? Saida is a classic case…This guy might be the head of the so called opposition but he has no authority or power on the ground. He should stop talking like hes in control and sit down and work it out because now its come to Lebanon and inspite of what people on this site believe it was always going to come to lebanon.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Ever since Syria took over to ‘protect’ it from Jews, and left behind a new ‘control’?
        Sunday hell in Tripoli – not uncommon recently.
        I remember in Beirut … sitting in the church of some friends (not ‘my’ church, but church is church, right?) during ‘the occupation’. Apparently it was common that a Russian tank clanked, wheezed, growled and smoked around the place every Sunday during services.
        The parishioners bravely sang on over the noise.
        They were changing the composition of Lebanon, of course … adding Syrians (pushing out Sunnis from Syria?) … and between that 15 years and the prior 25 years of sectarian idiocy, they did … as others (Lebanese) dived out.
        It’s a long-term ‘plan’ … of course. The question is, who’s plan?

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    I guess Nastyrallah changed another mind.

    1. dateam Avatar

      Why do you think the americans have not fully armed them? Saida is a classic case…This guy might be the head of the so called opposition but he has no authority or power on the ground. He should stop talking like hes in control and sit down and work it out because now its come to Lebanon and inspite of what people on this site believe it was always going to come to lebanon.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Ever since Syria took over to ‘protect’ it from Jews, and left behind a new control?

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