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Security Council's international conference pure pipe-dream

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 8 October 2013

It seems incredible that after 17 months of wrangling the best the Security Council could agree on is calling another International Conference that has no possible chance of convening - let alone helping peacefully resolve an end to the 30 months old conflict in Syria.

Suspended in an apparent time warp - Resolution 2118 - passed on 27 September - calls for:

the convening, as soon as possible, of an international conference on Syria to implement the Geneva Communiqué, and calls upon all Syrian parties to engage seriously and constructively at the Geneva Conference on Syria, and underscores that they should be fully representative of the Syrian people and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiquéand to the achievement of stability and reconciliation...


The Security Council seems to have not noticed that since the Geneva Communique was issued on 30 June 2012 - the then civil war being waged by Syrians against an autocratic Assad regime has now escalated into a far wider conflict involving foreign jihadist forces seeking to exercise power and influence in this latest episode of the Arab Spring.

Indeed on 25 September - just two days prior to the passing of Resolution 2118 - the Washington Post had reported:

Nearly a dozen of Syria's powerful rebel factions, including one linked to al-Qaida, formally broke with the main opposition group in exile Wednesday and called for Islamic law in the country, dealing a severe blow to the Western-backed coalition.

The new alliance is a potential turning point, entrenching the schism within the rebellion and giving President Bashar Assad fuel for his long-stated contention that his regime is battling Islamic extremists in the civil war

The Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition -the political arm of the Free Syrian Army rebel group -has long been accused by those fighting inside Syria of being a puppet promoted by the West and Gulf Arab states supporting the Syrian rebellion.

Wednesday's public rejection of the coalition's authority will likely be extremely damaging for its future in Syria, particularly at a time when the U.S. and Russia are pushing for peace talks.


It should be blindingly obvious that this development signals that some of the forces within the so-called Free Syrian Army are breaking up with the Syrian National Coalition supported by eleven West and Arab states - known as the London Eleven - to join forces with more hard-line foreign anti-Western Islamists.

Now just a few days later - Yahoo News has ominously reported on 2 October:

The al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of the northern border town of Azaz last month, kicking out rival rebels and prompting Turkey to shut the crossing about 5 km (3 miles) away.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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