All Syrian opposition factions agree to attend Astana talks

A possible political solution will not be on the Astana talks agenda [K Ashawi/Reuters]
Al-Jazeera – Some armed Syrian opposition groups have decided to attend peace talks with the government next week in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, according to rebel officials.

The discussions, scheduled for January 23, intend to build on a nationwide ceasefire that has largely held despite escalating violence across several battlefronts in recent days.

Mohammad Alloush, a leading figure in the Jaish al-Islam group, said on Monday he would head the rebel delegation to the meeting.

He said the rebels were going to the talks to “neutralise the criminal role” of Iran in Syria’s conflict.

“All the rebel groups are going [to Astana]. Everyone has agreed,” Alloush told AFP news agency.

“Astana is a process to end the bloodletting by the regime and its allies. We want to end this series of crimes.”

The rebel factions’ decision to send a delegation to the Astana talks came after five days of negotiations in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

The High Negotiations Committee, Syria’s main opposition bloc, had also said previously that it would extend its support to an anti-government military delegation attending the talks.

But Shaam Network, an opposition news website, reported on Monday that a number of other rebel groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, one of the main fighting forces on the ground, had decided to stay away from the upcoming talks.

“At this point in time, six years into this war, the different brigades still cannot speak with one voice when it comes to Syria,” Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Nizip refugee camp in Turkey, said.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: All Syrian opposition factions agree to attend Astana talks

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.