Saudi Arabia denounced on Tuesday the assassination of Zahran Alloush, commander of Jaish al-Islam, who was killed in Russian airstrikes on one of his group’s headquarters in eastern Ghouta last week.
“We believe that assassinating Zahran Alloush or other fighting leaders that have supported a peaceful solution and are fighting Daesh (Islamic State) in Syria does not serve the peace process in Syria,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists yesterday at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“I don’t know the reason that made them do something like this. But what I do know is that if we wanted to reach a peaceful solution in Syria, we must deal with all the Syrian groups whose hands are not smeared with terrorism,” Jubeir said.
Walid Jumblatt, a Lebanese MP and head of the Democratic Gathering said that Alloush’s assassination constitutes an “assassination of the almost impossible political process and the so-called transitional period.” He added that “some do not understand that Russia and Iran are holding on to the ruler of Damascus at the expense of all the Syrian people; whatever the price.” Moreover, Jumblatt expressed surprise at what he called “coordination and flirtation among Russia, Israel, and Assad.”
Echoing these remarks, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday that “the strike on Alloush and others in Jaish al-Islam and other opposition groups do, in fact, complicate efforts to bring about meaningful political negotiations and a nationwide ceasefire.”
Toner told a daily press briefing that “Jaish al-Islam has supported a political process to end the conflict and has fought against ISIL. They were also a participant in the Riyadh conference … which has been a key step forward in efforts to work toward a resumption of negotiations and a political path to end the conflict.” (Source: Agencies)