14 December 2013, 00:04

Islamic Front is eager to join peace talks in Geneva

Islamic Front is eager to join peace talks in Geneva

Senior US official has announced on Thursday that Obama administration is considering the possibility of supporting Syrian opposition in the upcoming peace talks in Geneva. According to him, the US will stand for only those groups that are willing to take part in the talks and those that are not allied with al-Qaeda.

The official also added that the American side would request the Islamic Front to give back to the US their vehicles, gear and other military equipment that was taken away during the seizure last week at the Syria-Turkey border.

The Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army is the only organization that the US is currently supporting. However, recently it has lost its strength and influence to other Islamic groups, such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the al-Nusra Front. Both these organizations were labeled by the US as terrorist.

US envoy, Robert Ford and a member of Islamic Front held a meeting last month in Turkey. Their negotiations were uncertain, states the same official who spoke anonymously about that. However, it became clear that the Front wants to be present at Geneva and take part in the peace talks, said this week the SMC commander, general Salim Idriss.

For now, US envoy, Mr. Ford will be travelling to London in order to meet with other Syrian supporters and then back to Turkey to see Syrian opposition once more. He might even have a meeting there with someone from the Islamic Front.

"We don’t have a problem with the Islamic Front," the official said.

For now Washington stands very clear on its position stating that no matter what happens with peace talks and "reorganization", the US "wants their stuff back".

The warehouses that were seized at the Syrian-Turkey border were controlled by the SMC, thus it was unclear how the vehicles and the equipment ended up in Islamic Front.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf commented about this situation on Thursday "We’re not in a position yet to give a definitive account of what happened."

Meanwhile, the US has suspended the aid deliveries to Syria through Turkey. The same thing was done by Britain earlier this week. Nevertheless, the suspensions didn’t include the humanitarian aid to the country.

At the same time, Syrian rebels have announced that they would like to include some Islamist fighters as part of their group to join the peace talks in Geneva. According to Monzer Akbik, senior rebel official, the opposition would like to make the delegation group "as wide as possible". He also added that the Islamic Front is ready to send their representatives for the talks. The peace talks in Geneva are scheduled to be hold in January of the upcoming year.

Voice of Russia, washingtonpost.com, timesofisrael.com

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