News and Views
Syrian Rebels Shun Geneva Peace Talks
The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army says his group will not participate in a peace conference planned for January in Geneva and intends to pursue its fight to topple President Bashar al-Assad regardless.
General Salim Idriss told Al Jazeera television Tuesday that "conditions are not suitable for running the Geneva 2 talks" and that the FSA "will not stop combat at all during the Geneva conference or after it."
The country's main exiled opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, said it has not made a final decision on whether to attend the talks, while again insisting Mr. Assad should play no role in the country's political future.
The United Nations set January 22 as the date for the Geneva conference with the stated goal of forging a transitional government to end the more than 2-year-old conflict that has killed well over 100,000 people and displaced millions more.
Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday that, if invited, Iran will participate in the Geneva 2 conference without any preconditions.