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    Syrian Opposition Okays Turkish Intervention as 'Fight Against Terrorism'

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    The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) is against any foreign ground operations in the country, spokesman Riyad Naasan Agha told Sputnik on Monday.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — Earlier February, Riyadh said it stood ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight Daesh, which is banned in Russia and other states. Meanwhile, the Turkish military has been shelling the positions of the Syrian Kurds in northern Syria on Saturday and Sunday.

    "The Turkish intervention and the ground operation announced by Saudi Arabia are parts of the international coalition’s operation to fight terrorism, and is not related to the opposition plan to oust [President Bashar] Assad. We do not wish to see foreign troops on our land," Agha said.

    HNC to Decide on Participation in Intra-Syria Talks Before February 21

    The Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee will decide whether it will participate in the new round of the intra-Syria talks in Geneva during a meeting in Riyadh before the end of the week, the spokesman told Sputnik.

    The HNC, which was created in Saudi Arabia in December and includes representatives of some groups considered to be terrorist organizations by Syria and Russia, is one of the opposition delegations participating in the UN-brokered talks on the Syrian settlement launched late January and put on hold until February 25.

    "We are currently preparing for holding a meeting in Riyadh before the end of this week to discuss the participation in the Geneva talks on February 25. We are ready to make a decision about participation in them, if a suitable atmosphere for negotiations will be assured. We believe that such conditions would be created if the UN Security Council resolution [2254] is implemented."

    HNC Demands Implementation of UNSC Resolution on Syrian Reconciliation

    The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee is not making any preconditions for its participation in the dialogue for the country’s reconciliation, demanding only the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on the Syrian settlement, Riyad Naasan Agha said.

    The UN Security Council Resolution 2254, passed in December, reaffirms the goals of previous agreements to end the bombardment of civilians in Syria, bring the entire spectrum of political groups in the crisis-torn country to the negotiating table and promote a lasting political resolution of the crisis.

    "We are not making any conditions, we agree to negotiations. All that we want is the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution," Agha said.

    According to the opposition figure, the fact that the resolution was not implemented was the reason behind the postponement of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, when mass anti-government protests against President Bashar Assad and the ruling party escalated to an armed confrontation between government troops and allied militia on the one hand, and Syrian opposition factions on the other.

    Apart from fighting the rebels in the ongoing conflict, government forces have had to counter extremist groups as well, including Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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    Tags:
    terrorism, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Riyad Naasan Agha, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia
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