Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Opposition secretary says Aleppo collapse was 'regional deal': Interview

Interviews | 2017-01-04 15:04:18
Opposition secretary says Aleppo collapse was 'regional deal': Interview
   Secretary General of the Syrian opposition's National Coalition (SNC) Abdul Ilah al-Fahed
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Secretary General of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) affirmed that the main opposition group is now drafting a new strategy in coordination with Higher Committee for Negotiations clarifying that the work is ongoing to form a military body to include all moderate factions on the ground.

Abdul Ilah al-Fahed, in an interview with Zaman al-Wasl said Aleppo collapse does not mean we have to surrender, but we have to increase efforts. He indicated that many bodies tried to marginalize the coalition due to its solid stands, and the factions have to be like that and to renounce conflicts and confrontations which led to the fall of Aleppo.

The General Secretariat pointed out to the statements of vice president who criticized the coalition on TV screens, considering that this type of behavior is irresponsible.

He confirmed that the vice president case will be directed to the legal committee. To the details.

Z: How did the coalition follow the international and regional conditions to the fall of Aleppo city?

A: Aleppo’s fall was facilitated in an international agreement. It was clear there was a direction to evacuate Aleppo from civilians and military personnel. Many initiatives were proposed regarding Aleppo before it fell, but the International Community did not respond to these initiatives even the written messages to UN and Syria’s Friends group reached more than 100 messages, but they did not respond to these messages, and Turkey mediated to evacuate the civilians.


Z: What are your reviews and criticisms to what happened in Aleppo on the military level?

A: The conflicts which happened between the factions on the fronts and conflict over positions had a negative role on the course of the battle in Aleppo. After this bitter experience, the factions have to take wisdom and be responsible and unify under the revolution flag. The separatism in the revolution is enough. Everyone has to realize that internal disputes led to the fall of Aleppo and this experience should not be repeated again. Although what has been said about the coalition, but the coalition did not sign so far on single deals and remained facing all the international pressures. That’s why many bodies are working to marginalize the coalition.

 
Z: What are the options of the coalition after the fall of Aleppo, are there any changes or strategies?

A: The coalition did not stop contact with the inside of Syria. After the fall of Aleppo, yes, the coalition has to move more. We are seeking to form a military umbrella to include all the factions and now we reached to a political coordination council and a nucleus will come out of this council to form a unified extensive military body. On the international level, it is no secret there is regression and perhaps an international collusion regarding what is happening in Syria. But anyway, we will not stop work on all levels. And I say to you that the coalition in coordination with Higher Negotiations Committee are working on a new strategy and perhaps it will be announced in the coming dew days.

 
Z: How can the opposition accept the executioner (Russia-Iran) as a mediator for negotiations?

A: In light of the regression of the international stand especially the United States and also the absence of the international envoy Steffan De Mistura, the field was open to the executioners Russia and Iran to advance and fill the vacuum in the Syrian crisis, and if it was not for the Turkish government the field would be empty to these forces. This is the responsibility of the International Community.
Between al-Bab and Aleppo fall

Z: You thanked the Turkish government for its stand when you talked about an international and regional collusion, and some say that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is fighting in al-Bab and leaving Aleppo.

A: In the Syrian case, the focus is not on one point. We are in front of an open field to all possibilities and options. The Russian warplanes and Iranian militias are everywhere. Everyone knows that ISIS has extended to the Turkish borders and I do not think what the Euphrates Shield is doing has an effect on what happened in Aleppo. The weapon was available and also the other resources. It has to be said that the battles did not calm down in Homs northern countryside and in Ghouta, that’s why making the connection between al-Bab battles and Aleppo battle is not in the correct place.

 Z: What is the coalition vision of the Astaneh Conference?

A: So far, we do not have a clear picture of the Astaneh program except for what came in through the media of the outcomes of Geneva and international resolutions, but going to Astaneh is not one of the missions of the coalition, but it is the mission of the Higher Committee for Negotiations and I do not think the factions have any political role. Anyway, the picture is yet to be clear.


Z: The coalition witnessed fissures in the recent period, resigns and criticism even the vice president Samira Masalmeh criticized heavily the coalition on TV screens?

A: The coalition is not a position to say that if someone resigned and the right word here is withdrawn. There is no link between those who withdrew and everyone has their private reasons, but regarding the vice president criticism, it is for sure not good since she is in an advanced position to stab the coalition and its entities.

This was clear without any evidence. On the other hand, it is not good for her to talk about such issues on the media at a time when the Syrian people were going through bitter times for her to come out and say, “she does not know what is happening in the coalition”. I say that if the vice president attended the meetings, she would have known what was happening. If she asked, we would have answered. This is an irresponsible behavior and this case was directed to the legal committee.
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