Ahrar activist: Regime behind Zabadani negotiation failure

August 30, 2015

Ceasefires gave way to violence in the Outer Damascus city of Zabadani and the Idlib countryside’s Shiite-majority villages of al-Fuaa and Kafariya on Saturday after a second temporary truce between regime and rebel forces in the towns collapsed due to the failure of negotiations between Ahrar a-Sham rebels and an Iranian delegation in Turkey.

Talks between the same parties earlier this month failed after rebels refused Iranian conditions to evacuate encircled rebels from Zabadani.

However, information leaked by an Ahrar a-Sham source to Syria Direct’s Ammar Hamou indicates that although Iranian negotiators agreed to rebel demands in the most recent round of talks, it was the Syrian regime’s refusal to implement the agreement that led to the collapse of the ceasefire and caused “problems between Iranian negotiators and the regime.”

“It seems that Iran wants [to rescue] its sect in Kafariya and al-Fuaa, and the regime wants to abandon them.”

Q. Media sources have reported that negotiations were between Ahrar a-Sham and an Iranian delegation, not a delegation representing the Syrian regime. Is that true?

Yes, Ahrar a-Sham met with Iran to negotiate without their consulting the Bashar al-Assad regime or the leadership of its military operations.

Q. What were the points of the negotiations and why did the truce fail once again?

There are several points that it is not possible to mention, but one of them was Ahrar a-Sham’s request that the regime release 1500 female detainees.

The Iranians approved our request, but the Syrian regime refused it, which led to the emergence of problems between Iranian negotiators and the regime.

It seems that Iran wants [to rescue] its sect in Kafariya and al-Fuaa, and the regime wants to abandon of them.

Q. How did the truce end?

After the regime refused to implement what we agreed upon with the Iranian delegation, it bombarded Zabadani, breaking the truce. In response, we targeted al-Fuaa.

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