Syrian Opposition Rejects Russia’s Peace Plan; Syrian Forces Take Down ISIS Siege

Matthew 24:6,7 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 7 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

On Wednesday, Russia drafted a peace proposal to solve the Syrian crisis, but it was rejected by Syrian opposition forces due to the fact that the draft made no reference to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stepping down – a key opposition demand.

“The Syrian people have never accepted the dictatorship of Assad and they will not accept that it is reintroduced or reformulated in another way,” Monzer Akbik, member of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition, told Reuters.

Reuters and the Associated Press were able to receive the drafted documents that stated the Kremlin asked for Damascus and unspecified opposition groups to agree on launching a constitutional reform that would take approximately 18 months. Afterward, there would be an early presidential election. However, the document does not bar Assad from participating in the election or relieving him of his position during the 18 month reform.

Russia denied that any such document is being prepared before the Vienna meeting this week where world leaders will discuss international peace talks for a second time.

Russia began intervening in the Syrian conflict six weeks ago when rebels were getting closer to taking over government-held areas. Since then, the Kremlin has stepped up its airstrike campaign and diplomatic efforts.

A member of the coalition’s political committee, Hadi al-Bahra, stated that in order for there to be peace, any talks will have to have more assurances and guarantees. He added that there could not be any elections under the current system.

“How can the elections be fair when the citizens inside Syria are afraid of retaliation from the security services of the regime?” he said.

Meanwhile in Syria, Fox News reported that Syrian government forces were able to take down an ISIS siege that was attempting to take over a Syrian military air base. ISIS has been attempting to take over this specific base since 2013. Between the troops in the Syrian base, the new forces that launched the large-scale offensive, and the Russian airstrikes, state TV reports confirmed that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed and hundreds of extremist bodies were found around the base. The breaking of the siege marks the first major achievement by Assad’s soldiers since Russia began their airstrikes in September.

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