Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Syria rebels insist no role for Assad despite Western overtures
' "The regime continuing and Assad staying is a failure," said Ahmad Qura Ali, a spokesman for the powerful Islamist Ahrar al-Sham rebel group. "It also demonstrates disrespect towards the sacrifices of the Syrian people and, even more importantly, irreverence towards the will of the Syrian people."
Activist Ibrahim al-Idlibi, who took part in the anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011, said Syrians "will not accept that Assad stays as part of a transitional period. It's not possible to look at a terrorist killer as a protector or provider of security."
Many opposition forces say they have come to expect little support from their backers, and are disappointed after years of patchy assistance and changing policy priorities. "As Syrians, we've stopped caring about these statements, which come not as a result of what's happening on the ground, but of political parties pursuing their interests at home," Idlibi said. "In the beginning, I used to think that the West was a real ally of the Syrian people... but our opinion quickly changed because of their political inconsistency."
"We have no choice but to prepare for larger military action and to apply more pressure to show the weakness of Assad and his allies," said Major Essam al-Rayes, spokesman for the Southern Front rebel group. "Can a regime that can't even hold onto its border crossings be relied upon?"
"The regime helped ISIS grow and spread throughout Syria at the expense of the revolution... not at the expense of the regime," said Mamoun Abu Omar, an activist in Aleppo. "Those who have suffered hundreds of thousands of deaths and so much destruction cannot take a step back," said Abu Omar. "Whoever achieves only half a revolution is digging his own grave." '