Rebel Leaders Describe Talks in Ankara Over Regime Proposal

Rebel leaders have described last week’s political talks with the Assad regime, brokered in Ankara, for a political resolution.Major Jamil al-Saleh, a commander of the Jaish al-Izza faction, said that regime officials had offered a truce that covered some areas and some rebel groups. According to Saleh, the rebels replied that any truce must include all of the country and all factions, including access to aid for besieged areas and negotiations “to end the rule of the criminals. The commander said Turkey supported the rebel position. Saleh’s account was echoed by Lieutenant Colonel Abu Bakr, a commander of Jaysh al-Mujahideen:

They wanted a truce that excludes certain regions and factions. Our answer was clear: no matter how great the differences, we will not allow the enemies to [widen] the cracks of those differences to drive a wedge between regions and groups because our fate, pain, and hope is one, Abu Bakr also said Turkis officials, “despite all the pressure, are standing with the just cause of our people and the revolution. They didn’t betray nor sell us and they did what they can.”