Syrian opposition groups say 'no' to Iran, call for Islamist leadership
100 high-level officials from the Free Syrian Army signed a petition that calls for a boycott against any peace conference in which Iran is involved, according to AFP Wednesday. The report stated that the petition describes Iran as a "key ally of [...] Assad" and a "serious part of the problem."
The statement is largely in response to French President Hollande's comments that said Iran would be welcome to attend the proposed Geneva II peace talks to end the crisis in Syria if the Persian country would help in the political transition in Syria. The Free Syrian Army further suggested that involving Iran would distract the focus from Assad and solving the Syrian crisis.
FSA, along with 13 other rebel factions, further broke with the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) Wednesday saying that SNC "did not represent them," according to Reuters. In a signed statement, the thirteen groups, which include the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, Tawheed Brigade, and the Islam Brigade, called for the opposition against Assad to be organized under an Islamic framework that would be run only by groups operating inside of Syria. The thirteen groups have largely been critical of the fact that SNC leadership is based outside of Syria and is backed through Western and Saudi-support under Ahmad Tuma.
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