The Geneva peace talks were supposed to kick off last Monday. However, the Saudi backed Syrian “opposition” coalition, the so-called “High Negotiations Committee” (HNC), declared that it would not attend a planned meeting with the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

The spokespersons for the HNC, cited that certain “demands” must first be fulfilled before they would even attend the talks. This again shows the lack of serious and responsible negotiating partners that the Syrian government is facing.

Following the event, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, who has represented the Syrian government in the peace talks, rightfully called the opposition “not serious”.

The demands that the HNC were talking about includes the release of 3000 prisoners held by the Syrian government, along with an end to the Syrian Army sieges of Islamist held areas.

These are pretty bold demands for a group of shady people who claim to represent an opposition that does not include some of the major “opposition forces” fighting on the ground, such as Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

This begs the serious question of who these people actually represent. Right from the start, details on the participants of the talks were conflicting and unclear. On January 31, two days after talks were scheduled to begin, Bashar al-Jaafari said that “no one knows who the other party is, and there hasn’t been a final list of participants so far”.

When briefly analyzing the figurehead of the HNC, Riad Hijab, former prime minister of Syria who was bribed by Qatar and French secret services to defect, it becomes clear that Bashar al-Jaafaris assessment on the seriousness of the talks is very much

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This is what Washington and it’s allies, especially Saudi Arabia have sent to Geneva. This is the kind of “serious” people they want to install in Damascus. Apparently, committing treason qualifies you to be considered as a “serious” opposition.

Since last week, the “opposition” has been playing games with the UN envoy and the Syrian delegation; one moment declaring that they will attend the talks, next moment calling off the meeting due to their demands not being met.

As I mentioned earlier, these demands are rather bold, considering the reality on the ground which tells a different story. The truth is that the Syrian government and it’s allies do not need a ceasefire, the terrorists on the ground however do.

The Reality vs Fiction

For several months, the Syrian Arab Army in close coordination with it’s allies, have captured huge areas in northern and western Syria. With the help of the Russian Air Force, the campaign to eradicate terrorism has been given a massive boost.

Of course, Washington and it’s allies recognize this fact and the dangers it poses to their ambitions for Syria, hence the rush to “negotiate a deal”. Sadly, whenever Washington talks about negotiating, it always means extorting and threatening their opponents.

This attempt at extortion is manifested in the HNC’s demands for an end to Russian and Syrian airstrikes, a lifting of sieges on militant held towns and several other demands. The hypocrisy becomes clear when analyzing the situation on the ground. The fact that militants use these besieged towns to fire rockets and mortars at civilian areas, or the fact that without airstrikes the whole country would be a terrorist safe haven playground doesn’t seem to bother Washington and its puppet “opposition”.

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The so called opposition are in no position to demand anything from the Syrian government, especially when they do not even represent the huge majority of the fighting militant factions, which have declared that they will not attend any peace talks whatsoever, with Harakat Ahrar Al Sham, the largest Islamist faction, even walking out of the Saudi backed “conference” in Riyadh, which was aimed at uniting the “opposition” before the talks.

Washington and it’s allies have also insisted on the inclusion of Jaysh Al-islam representatives in these talks. This is a notorious terrorist group that has killed countless of civilians with indiscriminate rocket attacks from their strongholds on the outskirts of eastern Damascus. It should be beyond reason how such a terrorist group, openly declared to be Al-Qaeda affiliates could ever receive the legitimacy to be regarded as a serious negotiating partner. But in Washington’s dystopian worldview, any throat cutting, suicide bombing terrorist will suffice to assume power in Damascus, as long as they are willing to be Washington’s loyal vassals.

This insistence on Jaysh Al-Islams participation tells us two things. That Washington and it’s friends will go to lengths unimaginable to achieve their ambitions for Syria, even if that means empowering Al-Qaeda, a supposed enemy of Washington’s. This also tells us that the throat cutters of Jaysh Al-Islam, who have refused to lay down their arms, despite a two year long siege on their strongholds in Eastern Ghouta. They are finally cracking as the Syrian Armed Forces have recently made significant progress in these areas previously considered to be impregnable and the fact that their prominent leader and founder Zahran Alloush was killed in December.

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Of course, it must by now be recognized that these “peace talks” weren’t so much about peace as they were about extorting the Syrian government into handing over it’s country to terrorists on a silver plate, or face the threat of a prolonged war that could go on further for years.

The Syrian government must not rely on the “goodwill” of the “opposition” and it’s western backers. Such trust can easily be used against them to their disadvantage. While I see no hope for the Geneva III “peace talks”, I do see hope for the Syrian Arab Army and their allies in their efforts to eradicate terrorism from Syria.

The Syrian government must rely on itself and it’s allies to end this conflict, because three attempts to resolve this conflict in Geneva has shown nothing but foul plans by Washington and it’s allies to slowly break down the Syrian government.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al-Masdar News.
Aram Mirzaei is an Iranian MA Candidate writing his dissertation titled “The Syrian Conflict – A Struggle of Interests”.
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Stern Daler
Stern Daler
2016-02-04 11:22

Geneva can only discuss the conditions of insurgent surrender. Since when do the losers of a conflict make preconditions? This can only harm civilian live!

2016-02-04 11:33

the west has nothing to bargain with, the public sympathy fund is in the red!

2016-02-04 11:48

@leithfadel his neck is thicker than his head. Small brain and big appetite is all he has

2016-02-04 15:42

Hmm one wonder why the opposition came to begin with…