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Syria Negotiations Skirt West’s Responsibility Printer friendly page Print This
By T.J. Coles
Axis of Logic
Monday, Feb 1, 2016

A recent Guardian article by intelligence specialist Ian Black notes that the Syrian “opposition finally announced it had decided to take part” in the UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva, “following a first meeting  between the UN envoy and representatives of Bashar al-Assad’s government.” [1]

The article might have mentioned that after five years of waging illegal, terrorist actions against Syria, the US-British-French trained, armed, and organised “opposition” had consistently refused to negotiate with the regime (Assad’s) that it is trying to depose. [2]

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) and related groups were organised by the UK in 2010 and received armaments and training at least as early as November 2011. They have detonated car bombs and kidnapped and shot civilians. [3]

The article goes on to note that “the opposition’s negotiating committee, me[t] in Saudi Arabia.” The article might have also mentioned that some of the more openly extremist groups opposing Bashar al-Assad, including  al-Nusra Front and ISIS, receive their ideological and many believe financial support from Britain and America’s closest regional ally. [4]

The article also portrays the negotiations as “a mess” (quoting an unnamed official). It might have mentioned that US and British insistence on Assad’s resignation, the use by Britain and the US of terrorist proxy forces to depose him, the use by the US, Britain, and France of air strikes (which triggered the refugee crisis), and the refusal of the FSA and its offshoots to negotiate had created the “mess.” Negotiations are, however, the only slim hope of reaching a settlement. Beyond that, Syria will be no more, with Russia bombing FSA targets to help keep Assad in power and Britain, the US, and France bombing under the pretext of stopping ISIS. [5]

The article also condemns Assad’s use of “barrel bombs” which “targeted Daraya and Muadamiyat al-Sham,” making no mention of the FSA and related groups’ use of car bombs. We might ask what the response of the Cameron government would be upon learning that Syrian secret services had trained and armed a proxy militia of, for instance, English Defence League fanatics with the aim of deposing the government. In current mainstream media culture, such thoughts cannot be entertained.



1. Ian Black, “Opposition finally agrees to join Syrian peace talks in Geneva,” Guardian, 29 January, 2016.

2. For instance, Dasha Afanasieva, “Syrian rebels reject U.N. envoy's ceasefire plan,” Reuters, 3 March, 2015.

3. Oliver Holmes, “Syrian rebels killed 190 civilians in August dawn raid: HRW”, Reuters, 11 October, 2013 and Fred H. Lawson, 2013, Global Security Watch: Syria, Praeger, pp. 93-4.

4. Lori Plotkin Boghardt, “Saudi funding of ISIS,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 23 June, 2014. It says, for instance: “Arab Gulf donors as a whole -- of which Saudis are believed to be the most charitable -- have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups.”

5. On the background to the training, see my “Britain’s secret war in Syria,” PIPR, 4 July, 2015,

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