The Obama Administration’s decision to get on board with Russian pushes for a negotiated settlement to Syria’s Civil War took a serious hit today, with rebels reiterating their opposition to talks.
Najib Ghadbian, a representative of one of the US-backed rebel factions, insisted from their view “it seems like there’s really nothing new,” adding that they stand by their previous statements that no talks could ever include Assad or anyone else “with blood on their hands.”
The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) issued a similar statement, saying they would “welcome” talks, but only after the Syrian government gave them everything they wanted beforehand – the unilateral ouster of Assad and the resignation of the entire government.
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the US-Russian plan will focus on the previous Geneva deal, which called for a transitional government but didn’t mention what would happen to Assad. The deal was reached under Kofi Annan, and has been condemned by the rebels since. That seems unlikely to change.