World, Middle East

Assad regime supports terrorism: Syrian opposition

In joint statement, 7 Syrian opposition groups blast Assad regime for supporting terror and relying on Iran-backed militias

04.05.2017
Assad regime supports terrorism: Syrian opposition

ANKARA 

Several Syrian armed revolutionary factions have declared in a joint statement that the Syrian opposition was the country’s main opponent of terrorism while the Assad regime supported the Daesh terrorist group and brought Iran-backed militias into the country.

The statement was issued jointly by seven groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam and the Al-Rahman Legion.

“Armed revolutionary factions were the first to fight terrorism… at a time when the regime was protecting areas controlled by Daesh,” the statement read.

“Five months since the beginning of the Astana peace process and no concrete results have been achieved. The cease-fire has failed to hold. Russia has not lived up to its role as guarantor [of the regime’s adherence to the terms of the cease-fire],” it added.

Opposition groups asserted that they had accepted the cease-fire on humanitarian grounds, with Turkey serving as guarantor that they would comply with the terms of the truce.

They went on to cite Iran-backed foreign terrorist groups -- which have been fighting alongside the Assad regime -- as the main reason for rifts in Syrian society.

“Iran is an occupying enemy that aims to undermine Syria’s identity, society and future. It must be held accountable for its crimes in Syria,” the groups said.

They went on to say that the cease-fire should be applied without exception to include opposition-held areas and called on Russia to halt its airstrikes and ensure that the Assad regime refrain from breaching the truce.

The opposition also called on Russia to work on applying UN Security Council resolutions 2118, 2139 and 2156 to allow refugees to return to their homes and political prisoners to be released.

Moreover, the groups said they would “not cooperate with the regime in any capacity because the regime is practicing the worst kinds of state terrorism against the Syrian people”.

*Reporting by Levent Tok and Adham Kako; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat 

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