Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad, in a joint statement called on regional countries to form an alliance against Russia and Iran.
The joint statement describes what is happening as “the Russian military aggression and outright occupation of Syria.” Among the signatories – an influential Islamist group “Ahrar al-Sham”, which is considered the second largest armed organization of the opposing army of Assad, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Reuters .
The statement, which was signed by, among others, rebel groups of the Free Syrian Army, calls on cooperation to counter the “Russian-Iranian alliance occupying Syria.”
Among the 41 groups that signed the statement, there is no Nusra Front, which defends al-Qaeda’s interests in Syria and along with the Ahrar al-Sham captured a significant part of the Idlib province in the north-west of the country.
The appeal does not name the countries that, according to the authors, should form such a coalition. Currently, the fight against government forces in Syria is supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
It ahould be recalled that Russia has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 30, 2015. That day the Federal Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation supported by 162 votes the Resolution on the use of Russian Armed Forces outside the territory of Russia, introduced by the President Vladimir Putin. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “At the request of the Syrian government, we’re helping them to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups.”
After first strikes Syrian opposition stated that Russians bomb not ISIS-controlled areas but opposition’ facilities, residential areas and even the hospital. U.S. and allies accused Russia on targeting not just ISIS but other groups opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime.
Later Turkish Foreign Ministry published a joint declaration, in which seven countries – Turkey, the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – called on Russia to cease to bomb Syria.