HNC Reiterates No Role for Assad in Transitional Period & Accuses Iranian-backed Militias of War Crimes
The Syrian opposition has reiterated its rejection of giving Bashar Al-Assad and his clique any role to play in the transitional period, calling on the United Nations to designate more than 60 Iranian-backed militias fighting alongside the Assad regime as terrorist groups.
Nasr Hariri, head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks, said: "We will not accept, totally, we will not accept any presence, any shape of presence of Bashar al-Assad, from the beginning of that transitional period and in the future of Syria."
Speaking at a press conference on Monday following a meeting with Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, Hariri stressed that the ouster of Bashar Assad is the first step of political transition in Syria.
"Today, we continued to discuss the political period and a constitutional declaration that will be in effect in the transition period," Hariri added.
Hariri went on: "We reiterated it at the beginning of the talks, the core of the political process is the requirement of the political transition, which is the transition from the regime. It requires Bashar Assad and his group, whose hands have already been stained with the blood of the Syrian people, to step down immediately as the premise of the transition. Meanwhile, they must be punished for their crimes.”
HNC member Colonel Fateh Colonel Fateh Hassoun said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been recruiting tens of thousands of mercenaries from the so-called Quds Force and Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and sent them to fight alongside the Assad regime.
Hassoun pointed out that these militias are usually sent to Syria after undergoing training in more than 14 training centers in Iran. He added that the IRGC has established more than 20 command and control centers in Syria, including in the districts of Saieda Zeinab and Yarmouk in Damascus as well in the district of Sheikh Najjar in Aleppo.
These mercenary groups have committed many massacres and war crimes fighting alongside regime forces on all Syrian territory, Hassoun said. He called upon the international community to designate these militias as terrorist organizations. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)