Syrian Opposition Bloc Seeks Rebels’ Okay for Geneva Talks

SNC Faces Western Pressure to Go, Rebel Pressure Not to

After months of failing to agree on attending the Geneva II peace talks, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is now seeking rebel fighters’ permission on the matter, with a vote expected in the coming days.

Votes have been planned and cancelled time and again, mostly with various factions threatening to withdraw outright if the SNC agreed to attend the peace talks, and with Islamist fighters threatening to target them as “traitors” over the matter.

The request for rebel input comes amid major Western pressure to agree to attend the talks, with the US seeing it as a significant embarrassment that Russia managed to get the Assad government to agree to the talks in June and, nearly half a year later, the US can’t get the rebels it bankrolls to do the same.

Some rebels seem to be warming to the idea, with the war increasingly stalemated, but while some might endorse the talks it seems likely the majority will not.

In the end, that may be the plan, with the SNC simply looking for something to use as an excuse during the next summit with Western nations.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.