A few days before the negotiations started in Geneva Assad intensified the bombing of rebel-held areas both in Damascus and in Idlib. In an attempt to disrupt negotiations Assad intensified the military actions in the opposition-held areas in the outskirts of Damascus. This is done to put the coalition delegations under pressure and force them to pull out of the talks.
In an effort orchestrated by the Iranian regime and its affiliated militia to sabotage the political procedure, the IRGC is boosting its military attacks in Damascus suburb. Iranian regime’s militias, IRGC, prevent humanitarian aid from reaching there and have intensified bombing and shelling of the besieged areas in an attempt to force the residents to leave their homes, similar to what is happening in Sarghaya.
Eastern goutha a suburb of Damascus has been under heavy chemical attacks by Assad and his thugs, this is a known stronghold of the opposition and has been under heavy bombardment since the start of the civil war. The bombing of the area has increased in recent days due to the peace talks in Geneva.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir said in his speech in Munich that Iran was propping up the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and that the Iranian regime was destabilizing the whole region. The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, concurred with the Saudi FM and added: “Iran wants to make Syria and Iraq Shiite” he also accused Iran of actions that had undermined security in the region and urging Tehran to promote stability. Erdogan has also in recent weeks accused Iran of promoting a “Persian nationalism” that had damaged the middle east.
A member of the Syrian National Coalition stated “Geneva talks should be focused on transfer of power in Syria as this is an issue that could most likely resolve all other issues on the table, including terrorism. We believe that resuming political talks would be somewhat futile.”
On February 20 the Syrian government forces escalated their bombing campaign around the Syrian capital, the bombs are falling like rain on the rebel-held areas sending out a bloody message days before the renewed talks are about to start in Geneva. The Geneva talks is an attempt to end the bloody civil war that has torn Syria into pieces. But Assad has no interest in ending this war because he knows that it will mark the end of his dictatorship in Syria.
The Syrian opposition says that the shelling is an attempt to sabotage the peace talks. Assad’s main target is eastern Ghouta, the stronghold of the Army of Islam. This area is a dagger pointed at the heart of the Assad regime and are holding many government soldiers busy. Overrunning the area could have a significant impact on the peace talks
The national coalition for Syrian opposition forces states that the horrific civil war will not end as long as Assad holds the power. Assad is the main problem in Syria, not the solution. Assad’s dictatorship has been a breathing ground for terrorist organisations like IS and as long as he is in power there is no chance to fight them.
Anas al-Abdah noted that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has fought against ISIS, the sectarian militia and IRGC more than any other party, he also pointed out that there is no difference between the disaster of beheading and the barrel bombing of the Syrian civilians.
The Syrian opposition is rightfully describing the IRGC as a terror organisation. The Iranian army has been committing war crimes on Assad’s behalf. The most profiled war crime was the genocide in eastern Aleppo. The Assad government is destroying the whole Syrian society with the help of IRGC and must be stopped. The best help for the innocent Syrian civilian population will be to blacklist IRGC and expel them from Syria.
The U.N. mediator is not expecting a quick breakthrough in the talks. He pointed out the importance of avoiding getting sidetracked by spoilers that will try to disrupt the peace talks. The negotiations in Geneva will be guided by UN security council resolution 2254 which refers to the establishment of credible and inclusive governance, the process of drafting a new constitution and free and fair elections.
A Syrian group called “Families for freedom” will have a rally outside the peace talks to take a moment of silence in love and solidarity with all of Syria’s detained and disappeared sons and daughters. They have asked the negotiating parties to pause the talks and come down and join them. Please sign the petition to ask the negotiators to join the rally.