17:45 GMT09 August 2020
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    Syrian opposition continues mulling the plan of establishing self-governance in besieged eastern Aleppo and is discussing the matter with Turkey, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces secretary general, Abdul Ilah Fahad, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Earlier in November, the Syrian government rejected UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura's proposal on setting up a self-governing authority in the militant-held parts of Aleppo. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told de Mistura that the plan, which stipulated the areas to remain under opposition control after the withdrawal of armed groups, is a violation of national sovereignty and proposed an alternative plan to on settling the status of those fighters wishing to leave the city.

    "We are talking about forming a local council. We are not discussing the issue with Russian representatives. We are, however, in contact with the Turkish authorities on a number of issues, including this one. As part of the project, it is assumed that hostilities will cease, that the Nusra Front will leave Aleppo and that humanitarian access is ensured," Fahad told Russia's Izvestia newspaper.

    On Thursday, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported, citing Turkish sources, that Syrian opposition representatives met with Russian representatives in Ankara. The Russian embassy in Turkey told the newspaper it could not confirm such a meeting.

    Over the recent months, Aleppo has been a major battleground in Syria, engaging government forces, jihadists, and numerous opposition groups. Eastern Aleppo is currently encircled by government forces, and the fighting has affected thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. Internationally mediated ceasefires have collapsed as militants continued attacks and opposition failed to expel terrorists from the city.

    The Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, and has since developed into a bitter conflict between government forces, armed opposition and terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, both outlawed in a number of countries, including the United States and Russia.


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    opposition, National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, Aleppo, Syria
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