Syrian opposition rejects Turkish proposal of reconciliation with regime

Syrian opposition rejects Turkish proposal of reconciliation with regime
Update: 12 August 2022 14:00
A+ A-
Turkish FM's remarks to reconcile the Syrian administration and the opposition forces sparked anger in Northern Syria as crowds stoned Turkish armored vehicles and burned a Turkish flag.

Groups opposed to the Syrian regime on Thursday night took to the streets in the opposition controlled areas of northern Syria to protest Turkey’s suggestions to reconcile the dissidents with the Assad administration, Rudaw reported.

Angry crowds were seen in the streets of the city of Azez, chanting "Turkey, hear us well, this is the revolution of the Syrians."

Signaling a U-turn in Turkey’s Syrian policy, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said Ankara should find a way to reconcile Syrian administration with the opposition.

"Syria must have a strong administration if a division of this country is to be prevented. A political will can be enforced across Syria only through unity," he said. 

Video footage from the social media showed that in one incident, one of the protesters climbed the mast and set fire to the Turkish flag in a park constructed by the Turkish government. 

The demonstrators, saying they will never make peace with the Syrian government, also threw rocks at Turkish armored vehicles and chanted against Turkey near Azez Police Station, run by the Turkish soldiers and the Syrian National Army. 

The areas under Turkish control in Northern Syria depend heavily on Turkish support, as the sick are treated in Turkish-built hospitals and the lights are kept on by Turkish-generated electricity. 

One Turkish analyst said Turkey trains and pays the salary of more than 50,000 Syrian rebel fighters.

The Syria intervention is costing Ankara about 2 billion dollars annually, according to Murat Yesiltas, an analyst at Seta, a Turkish-think tank with close links to Erdogan and his government. 

He says Ankara is grappling with the contradiction between Turkey’s professed desire for a unified Syria — to prevent any form of Kurdish state — while at the same time realizing that “Turkey is . . . ultimately undermining the potential territorial integrity of Syria.”