When the UN Security Council endorsed the Russia-led peace initiative for Syria, aiming to cobble together an alliance of rebels and Syrian government forces to defeat ISIS, one of the rebel factions, the Syrian National Coalition, is dismissing the whole idea as “unrealistic.”
The SNC, which nominally serves as the political wing for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) but in practice commands the loyalty of only a fraction of the FSA units, is objecting in particular to something carefully not mentioned in the UNSC language, the future of President Bashar al-Assad.
The SNC expressed annoyance that the UN language talked of ISIS terrorism but not of the “terrorism” of the Assad government. Russia has called for the transition to leave the question of governance up to the Syrians, while France and at times the US have demanded Assad’s immediate ouster as a condition of the deal.
Ultimately, though, neither the SNC or any other individual moderate rebel factions amounts to much in the scheme of the fight against ISIS, and despite interest in making the unity coalition as big as possible, there’s not much point to it if it excludes the Syrian government’s own leadership.