Riad Hijab, General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) hit out at remarks made by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who on Tuesday said that the resumption of peace talks in Syria has been postponed “indefinitely.” Hijab pointed out that Shoigu’s remarks came a few days after leaders of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization militias have announced that they would expand their operations to Syria once the city of Mosul is fully captured from the ISIS extremist group.
Hijab was speaking at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday. Both sides discussed the latest developments in Syria and the region. Hijab praised Turkey’s support for the preservation of Syria’s unity as well as for its efforts in the fight against terrorism.
The two sides agreed on the need to immediately stop the brutal onslaught by the Assad regime and its allies on Aleppo which suffers dire humanitarian conditions in the light of the continued siege and aerial campaign.
With regard to the upcoming operations against ISIS in northeast Syria, Hijab stressed the need to rely on the local Free Syrian Army groups in the area as the spearhead in the fight against ISIS.
Hijab talked about plans by the HNC to take legal action against all those involved in war crimes against the Syrian people and to ensure they do not escape punishment. He also emphasized the need to mobilize international support for plans by the Syrian opposition to head to the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies to condemn the Russian and Iranian war crimes in Syria and to sanction their perpetrators. (Source: Syrian Coalition)