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Syrian opposition: No Geneva peace talks after 'chemical attack'

Published time: August 26, 2013 15:57
Edited time: August 26, 2013 17:28
Members of the National Coalition of Syrian revolution and opposition forces (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Members of the National Coalition of Syrian revolution and opposition forces (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

The Syrian National Coalition, the official opposition to President Bashar Assad, has called off the long-delayed peace summit in Geneva, following an alleged chemical attack last week.

We refused to speak about Geneva after what's happened. We must punish this dictator, Bashar the Chemist we call him, and then we can discuss Geneva," coalition Secretary General Badr Jamous told Reuters in Istanbul.

The Syrian National Coalition was meeting with international opposition backers Friends of Syria in Istanbul, nominally to discuss the upcoming peace talks.

Opposition leaders have blamed Bashar Assad for unleashing Wednesday’s chemical assault on a rebel-controlled Damascus suburb, which Doctors without Borders (MSF) says took at least 355 lives.

Since then, Arab League-United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who would have mediated the negotiations has attempted to salvage the conference, saying that the incident proved “that no military solution is possible”.

Brahimi and other diplomats had hoped Monday's Istanbul meeting would sort out final details before the UN-backed talks that had been hampered by escalation of warfare in Syria, political falling-out among the opposition and arguments over pre-conditions for the negotiations.

Geneva-2, conceived at a summit in the same city over a year ago, was meant to set out conditions for a ceasefire, and outline the transition to a new regime. 

Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the timing of the chemical attack “suited” the opposition, “who obviously do not want to negotiate peacefully”, instead they want to “sabotage” the talks.

Why go to a conference if you believe that the regime’s infrastructure will all be destroyed anyway by allies, and then you can just march into Damascus unopposed, and take control?” said the official in Moscow.

Some Western politicians have called for a military intervention in Syria, following reports of chemical weapons use in a Damascus surburb. The attack had previously been designated as a ‘red line’ by the West.

A protest by several hundred exiled Syrians in Belgium also called for the West to step in.

“We are asking for military intervention. We want the Europeans to protect the Syrian population, who are being massacred before the entire world. What happened to human rights?,” asked Rabih Chaar, said the local Syrian opposition to Euronews.

A UN-mandated expert team is currently in Damascus, attempting to unravel the timeline of the chemical alleged attack.

Comments (41)


Tony Clifton 08.09.2013 02:55

Ed Camilo 27.08.2013 01:03

'The terrorists never wanted and are not interested in <BR>dialogue. they have learned to navigate and thrive in chaotic situation and therefore are set on creating chaos everywhere! whenever you see chaos you'll see imperialists. Chaos is the signature of imperialism or its trade mark.'


Interestingly enough, Operation Chaos was a CIA illegal domestic spying program conducted against US citizens from 1967 to 1973 to expose and false flag Vietnam anti- war dissidents. The habadasher POTUS Harry Truman birthed the CIA through the so-called National Security Act.


Tony Clifton 08.09.2013 02:46

The plague 28.08.2013 10:26

'B. the chemist'? Seriously, what kind of pathetic propaganda is this?<BR>This bunch of losers are a disgrace. At least when you want propaganda, do it propely like Uncle Sam does.<BR>They obviously lack the higher degree of fascism seen in the BBC, CNN, FOX and other corporate brainwashing machines.<BR>G et a life losers.


"B the chemist." That's almost as hilarious as the (Chemical Ali) sobriquet for the director of Saddam Hussein's non-existent chemical weapons program. Chemical Ali was hanged by Bush's kangaroo court, too.


Tony Clifton 08.09.2013 02:33

Kyle Ivie 04.09.2013 20:44

Also why does US report over 1400 dead and like 400 women and children, and every other report says under 500 total???????<BR nodeIndex="1&qu ot;><BR nodeIndex="2&qu ot;>is usa just trying to get our heart strings so we support them? like 9-11???


Checkout (911 German Hip Hop) on YouTube for a German volk view of the criminal mob that rules the US. And those 90 plus surveillance cameras at the Pentagon just happened to fail on 11SEPT2001. Also checkout what happened on 11SEPT1941 at Des Moines, Iowa when Charles Lindbergh gave his famouus America First Ant iWar speech.

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