Syria opposition leaves peace talks in Astana


… from  Press TV,  Teheran

The HNC’s Muhammed Alloush

[ Editor’s Note: It comes as no surprise that the Saudi rump group, the High Negotiation Committee (HNC) would throw this monkey wrench into the talks now.

Almost everywhere that combat is going on, some civilians are in the way, and the jihadis and Syrian opposition use them as human shields and their corpses as “proof” of Assad being the ruthless tyrant. They forget that we are onto their scam.

The key part of this article is the issue of “deescalation” and “security zones” being put squarely on the table for militant-held areas, a slight but important adjustment to the previous “safe zone” areas, which were primarily no fly zones. There are few details defining the terms, but the jointly controlled checkpoints would be a huge step forward, if this actually happens.

The setting up of “safe zones” appears to be step two, and then the beginning of a process of disarmament, with a May 22 target date being floated. This seems a bit pie-in-the-sky, but the jihadis might want a respite from the fighting to rest and refurbish and to recover from the beating they have been getting in Idlib.

Damascus would like to have these quiet areas, so it can shift troops into ISIS combat areas and continue recovering lost territory and infrastructure, especially the oil and gas fields. And the Russian air campaign can focus more on ISIS.

But with Turkey as one of the guarantors, there is no mention of any international monitoring of the Turkish border, regarding weapons and ammo, including the TOWS continuing to flow into Syria.

This is what fueled the jihadi Hama offensive, which has tied up some of the SAA’s best units in defeating it – units that could have been fighting ISIS. And there is nothing being mentioned about Turkey ending its attacks on the YPG Kurds, who are one of the main forces fighting ISISJim W. Dean ]

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The slug-fest in the Damascus suburbs continues with both sides fighting over ruins

–  First published  …   May 03,  2017

The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) says the opposition is halting its participation in the latest round of the Astana peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the deadly conflict in the Arab country.

SNC spokesman Ahmad Ramadan said on Wednesday that the opposition “delegation is suspending the meetings” over alleged airstrikes on civilians.

“The suspension will continue until shelling stops across all Syria,” he added.

The move came hours after the fourth round of the talks, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey, began with a series of bilateral meetings in the Kazakh capital earlier in the day.

Read more:

Reacting to the development, Aidarbek Tumatov, a senior Kazakh Foreign Ministry official, said he expected that the Syria opposition would return to the negotiating table on Thursday.

“I hope that tomorrow the opposition will again take part (in the talks),” Tumatov said.

The Astana discussions were set to focus on a Russian plan to resolve the Syria crisis that began in March 2011.

The plan calls for the creation of “de-escalation zones” in militant-held areas in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Homs as well as the Eastern Ghouta region near the Syrian capital, Damascus, AFP reported, citing a version of the initiative provided by a source close to the opposition.

The Russian proposal seeks to “put an immediate end to the violence” gripping Syria and “provide the conditions for the safe, voluntary return of refugees”. It further urges the creation of “security zones” with checkpoints and monitoring centers manned by government troops and militants.

The plan also reportedly tasks Turkey, Iran and Russia — as the guarantors of the agreement — with setting up a joint working group to draft maps of the safe zones by May 22 and monitoring a process of “disarmament.”

Additionally, the trio would help the fight against extremist factions including the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. Tumatov confirmed that the delegations were discussing a proposal for safe zones in Syria.

“If the guarantor countries agree and sign the document then accordingly Damascus and the opposition will be obliged to fulfill it,” the official told the Interfax news agency.

The first round of the Astana talks between Syria’s warring sides took place on January 23-24, followed by the second round on February 15-16 and the third round on March 14-15.

Syria blames the conflict in the country on some Western states and their regional allies that have long pushed for the ouster of the Damascus government.


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Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor

Jim W. Dean is managing editor of Veterans Today wearing many hats from day to day operations, development, writing and editing articles.

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Jim comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. Dozens of Confederate ancestors fought for the South in the War Between the States. Uncles fought in WWII and Korea. His father was a WWII P-40 and later P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Vietnam found several uncles serving, a cousin, and brother Wendell as a young Ranger officer. His mother was a WWII widow at 16, her first husband killed with all 580 aboard when the SS Paul Hamilton, an ammunition ship with 7000 tons of explosives aboard, was torpedoed off the coast of Algiers.

He has been writing, speaking and doing public relations, television, consulting and now multimedia work for a variety of American heritage, historical, military, veterans and Intel platforms. Jim's only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon.

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  1. “SNC spokesman Ahmad Ramadan said on Wednesday that the opposition “delegation is suspending the meetings” over alleged airstrikes on civilians.”

    Oh, the terrorists are concerned about civilians, are they? What a sick joke. How about no more peace talks? Instead, how about dropping leaflets into terrorist occupied territories, telling them that they’re killing their brothers, sisters and mothers on behalf of Israel and America. Then, bomb all terrorists to death and without mercy. You have a gun in your hand, you die, no matter who your sponsors are. These grimy terrorists have no right to negotiate anything, yet they’ve ruined every attempt to reach a diplomatic solution. Send remote controlled robots armed with modern Gatling guns into terrorist facilities and mow them all down like weeds. Quit beating around the bush at the UN and tell everyone in attendance that this war is the fault of Israel and its donkey, Uncle Sam. Provide all available evidence to back up the serious charge, and watch them scramble like the rats they are.

    • At the UN, instead of posing the question, “who sponsored these terrorists?” Reword it as a statement, saying something along the lines of, “We know, as well as you know, that you are the ones who facilitated this chaos in Syria. Like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan,Yemen, etc. If you really wanted the war to end, you would stop providing both direct and indirect support to terrorists and cooperate with us. So, stop pretending that you want to find a diplomatic solution.” Leave them without a leg to stand on by presenting facts. When fire breathing she-wolf, Nikki Haley, opens her mouth with her subjective, emotional and weak rebuttal, embarrass her by pointing out the fact that her subjective, ignorant and irresponsible statements threaten whatever credibility the institution might still have.

Comments are closed.