UN Envoy: Rebels to Blame for Delay in Syria Peace Talks

Splintered Rebellion Can't Assemble 'Credible' Delegates

With the Geneva II peace conference once again more or less permanently delayed, as US and Russian officials have scrapped the tentative plans for a late November meet, UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was unusually critical of the rebels, saying they were a major part of the delays.

“They’re divided; it’s no secret to anybody,” Brahimi said, noting that the rebels seemed unwilling or unable to assemble “credible delegates” to send to a peace conference, if indeed one is actually ever held.

That’s putting it mildly, as most of the major rebel factions have openly ruled out attending any such talks, and Islamist factions have suggested they would target any rebels who do attend on “treason” charges.

With Syria’s rebellion split into so many factions, and with many of those factions fighting each other as much as they’re fighting the Assad government, the prospect of holding talks with only certain factions seems unworkable, since they couldn’t really pledge to “stop the fighting” in any credible way.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.