Secretary General Mohammed Yahya Maktabi and Vice President Nagham al-Ghadiri met with a delegation of the Foreign Relations of French Parliament and with the French Consul in Turkey. The meeting topics discussed were the fight against terrorism and the close relationship between the Assad regime and ISIS. Maktabi reaffirmed the Syrian Coalition’s solidarity with France following the terrorist attack against the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and expressed sympathy with the families of the victims. “We are in the same boat in the fight against terrorism, and we are keen to develop a strong relationship with France. We also highly appreciate its positions in support of the Syrian revolution.”
Ghadiri said that when Syrian revolution began, Assad released prisoners accused of terrorism and those who returned from Iraq. They later joined ISIS. Assad also allowed ISIS to grow and flourish and has avoided bombing its positions in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor and instead has been targeting civilians and rebel fighters across Syria.
Maktabi pointed out that the Syrian Coalition distinguishes between the Syrian state and its institutions, which must be preserved, and between Bashar al-Assad and his security forces, stressing that the elimination of al-Assad will facilitate the process of eliminating ISIS. “Many of those who joined ISIS did so out of conviction of its extremist ideology, but because the FSA were under-equipped and outnumbered.
The meeting also discussed France’s role in the international anti-ISIS coalition and its role in the provision of humanitarian assistance to Syrians, and also the current situation of the FSA on the ground and ways to support it.
Maktabi points to the need to develop an integrated military, humanitarian, social and intellectual strategy to fight terrorism, calling for channeling all support through the Syrian Coalition and the FSA’s General Staff and the interim Defense Ministry. (Source: Syrian Coalition)