Major Rebel Faction Withdraws Ahead of Syria Talks

Opposes Any Negotiated Settlement

The sudden invitation and uninvitation of Iran to the Geneva II peace talks, set to begin Wednesday in Montreaux, have stirred up quite a bit of acrimony on their own, but the situation is getting much worse, and the talks much more pointless.

Now the only rebel faction involved in the talks, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), has lost its large internal party, the Syrian National Council, which is withdrawing from the talks, from the coalition, and from participation in the international community’s dealings in general.

The Council is citing its objections to the Geneva II talks as a reason for its decision, saying it rejects any negotiated settlement with the Assad government. This leaves the already small SNC even more irrelevant among the rebels.

Yet the SNC remains literally the only show in town in Montreaux, as the much larger Islamist factions have likewise rejected the talks and in many cases weren’t even invited.

The US insists the goal of the talks is to impose regime change to “end the violence,” but with materially all of the rebel combatants uninvolved in the conference there’s no reason to think it’s going anywhere.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.