Militant groups reject UN peace initiative on Syria
Foreign-backed militant groups in Syria have rejected a plan by the United Nations to end the conflict in the Arab country, a day after the Damascus government said it is ready to take part in such an initiative.
The militant groups issued a statement on Saturday rejecting the initiative by the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
The statement, a rare case of unity among the militant groups, which include those directly backed by the United States such as Division 101, said the initiative includes mechanisms that would more benefit the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We consider that the ‘work groups’ initiative in its current form and its unclear mechanisms provides the perfect environment to reproduce” the government, said the statement by the so-called National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.
It said the initiative fails to properly address the UN resolutions on Syria, including one which has forced the Syrian government to dismantle its chemical weapons program.
Reports said the statement came after a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier in the week where representatives of the militant groups discussed plans by the UN envoy.