Riad Hijab, general coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, said that if the Syrian opposition participates in the Geneva III negotiations due to be resumed on February 25, it would be to negotiate only one point: the forming of a transitional governing body with full powers.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera on Thursday, Hijab stressed that forming a transitional governing body would consequently lead to the departure of Bashar al-Assad and his regime.
Hijab reiterated that articles 12 and 13 of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 are non-negotiable and must not be used as a bargaining chip as they are related solely to humanitarian aspects.
Responding to the regime’s latest statements accusing the opposition of treason, Hijab emphasized that the real traitor is the one who kills his people; the one who transformed his homeland to an arena for international conflicts.
Hijab added that Assad now is a puppet of Iran and Russia, citing the Zabadani-Kufarya- Fuaa agreement which was signed by Iran and the rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham. He went on to say that Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, the Iraqi and Afghan militias are responsible for 90% of the firepower in the battles against the armed opposition. Hijab also said that Syria has become a failed state because of Assad’s policies.
Hijab pointed out that Russia and Iran seek to bring about a demographic change in Syria through forcing whole communities out of their homes. Russia also seeks to tip the balance of power on the ground in favor of the Assad regime before the resumptions of negotiations. Hijab vowed that at the negotiating table Assad would not gain what he has failed to achieve on the ground.
Hijab explained that the armed opposition fight on multiple fronts: against ISIS, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, mercenaries from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and against the PYD militia.
In previous statements, Hijab confidently said that the armed opposition will regain the areas it has lost in recent weeks, saying that the intense aerial bombardment does not mean that the Assad regime and its allies are able to hold ground.
Hijab concluded his remarks by noting that the Munich and Vienna meetings resulted in an agreement to deliver aid to six besieged areas across Syria, while aid to Deir Ezzor will be delivered by air. (Source: Al-Jazeera)