Syrian Rebels Refuse to Attend Geneva Talks

Rebels Cite Refusal of Demands to End All Airstrikes

Friday’s UN-organized Geneva peace talks for Syria are still scheduled to happen, but as had been feared for months they will happen without any rebel participation, as rebel officials ruled out attending.

Formally invited on Tuesday, the rebels headed to Saudi Arabia to discuss the matter, and promised an answer Wednesday, which ended up being a series of demands, including an end to all airstrikes against all rebels. Citing the lack of response, they spurned the invitation.

The US urged the rebels to participate without preconditions, but the reports from the Riyadh meeting was that the rebels are mad at the US for backing the talks in the first place, accusing them of siding with Russia and Iran over the rebellion.

Rebels did suggest they were open to showing up at the talks later if their demands were all agreed to, but this seems hugely unlikely, meaning the Geneva talks are just the latest in a growing line of Syria talks in which Syrian factions are largely sidelined.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.