The self-proclaimed Syrian government-in-exile, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), has announced today that they will not attend next month’s peace talks in Moscow.
On the surface this is unsurprising, as the SNC similarly boycotted the January talks. Yet after those talks failed, the US subsequently backed the next round of Moscow talks, saying a settlement was necessary for ending the civil war.
It was a huge shift for the US to back the talks, and it is likewise a significant shift for the SNC to continue a boycott against the expressed policy of the US government, which continues to bankroll it.
Though the SNC has virtually no rebel factions loyal to it anymore, there is likeise no indication that any rebel group will be attending the Moscow talks at all. Most of the biggest rebel groups, like al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and ISIS, won’t be invited, and the talks are shaping up to basically be international officials, a Syrian government representative, and a whole lot of talking that doesn’t amount to anything.