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Separating Syrian People and ISIL Key to End Civil War – French Diplomat

© AP Photo / Raqqa Media CenterFighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria
Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria - Sputnik International
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The ongoing Syrian civil war and the attendant humanitarian crisis can only be resolved through negotiations that engage all sides, including the Syrian government, Francois Ralle told Sputnik.

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MADRID (Sputnik) — Negotiations to end the Syrian civil war must take into account that a portion of the Syrian population supports the Islamic State and that a popular disavowal of the extremist group is a precondition for reconciliation, Francois Ralle, the French consular adviser in Spain, told Sputnik.

"It is necessary to disconnect the Islamic State from the [Syrian] Sunni population and to find a political solution for these people," he said.

According to Ralle, ISIL "is not just an artificial entity" because some people relate to the organization and "see it as a kind of shield after years of Western intervention and absolute chaos" in the region.

Another important issue the diplomat pointed out is to cut off all sources of ISIL funding, adding that the organization "has direct and indirect support [from] some Gulf monarchies," a fact that has been under-reported.

Syrian Civil War Can be Ended Only Through Broad Talks

The ongoing Syrian civil war and the attendant humanitarian crisis can only be resolved through negotiations that engage all sides, including the Syrian government, Francois Ralle told Sputnik.

"We must sit at the table, revive efficient international multilateral talks, which we do not have at the moment," he said, adding that "the negotiations should include all the interested sides, such as Iran and the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad."

Ralle pointed out that a settlement of the war should be "fundamentally political," since military intervention has only spread regional strife.

"The Syrian conflict is a direct result of the Iraq conflict" that "has become a mess," the diplomat observed.

ISIL, a violent religious fundamentalist group, has seized large areas in Syria and Iraq, proclaiming a caliphate and committing numerous human rights atrocities. The United States and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions in both Syria and Iraq since 2014.

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Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, as government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fight several opposition and radical extremist groups, including the Nusra Front and ISIL.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the United States and some of its allies have supported a so-called moderate Syrian opposition, calling for Assad's resignation. Russia recognizes the Syrian president as the legitimate authority in the country.

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