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Manaf Tlass’ Movement Holds First Meeting Inside Syria: A New Chapter in Syrian Opposition

The National Liberation Movement describes itself as a national platform, uniting political and military forces, according to al-Modon.
Manaf Tlass’ Movement Holds First Meeting Inside Syria: A New Chapter in Syrian Opposition

The National Liberation Movement has convened a significant gathering, with the participation of numerous dissident officers, at a location within Syria. Led by defected Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, whose father served as the former Minister of Defense, the movement has made it clear that its primary objective is to bring about a change in the Syrian regime and establish a new Syrian state that reflects the aspirations of all sects within the nation.

In an official statement, the movement asserted that it represents a comprehensive and inclusive national struggle, rather than being an ideological party or a factional military entity. Instead, it serves as a national platform, uniting political and military forces, prominent national figures, tribal groups, and civil organizations.

This statement was released following a meeting held in Afrin, a city in northern Syria, situated within areas controlled by opposition factions. The meeting witnessed the presence of several officers who defected from the Syrian regime forces, and the statement garnered signatures from hundreds of officers both within and outside Syria.

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The movement’s core vision revolves around altering the Syrian regime and shaping the new Syrian state according to the collective will of its diverse population, without imposing guardianship or restricting the struggle within its own framework. Significantly, the movement rejects any foundation based on sectarian or ethnic ideologies, instead firmly embracing the idea of citizenship in the relationship between individuals and society. They advocate for democratic principles to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power and emphasize the importance of adhering to the constitution and laws as the basis for governing the state.

With their inclusive approach and commitment to democratic ideals, the “National Liberation Movement” seeks to gain international support and recognition for their cause.

The movement’s commitment to the United Nations’ resolutions on the Syrian issue is a notable aspect of their approach. They emphasize the need to find alternative forms of resistance rather than solely relying on international and foreign influence. The movement maintains that the “Syrian Military Council” initiated the “National Liberation Movement,” yet it operates as its executive arm, executing policies and directions, without acting as its guardian.

While the movement is open to establishing relations with the regional and international community, they prioritize the Syrian national interest and strive to avoid dependence or tutelage. They firmly reject any involvement of political money from foreign sources, asserting their independence.

The launch of the movement is seen as a significant shift in Syrian consciousness, transcending traditional opposition methods and confronting the Assad regime in new ways. They recognize that the battle against the regime has expanded beyond mere political boundaries, transforming into an existential struggle with profound moral and humanitarian dimensions.

The announcement of the movement’s project took place in June from the residence of Manaf Tlass in France. Its goal is to unify all Syrian opposition forces, both military and civilian, under one leadership, establishing a cohesive political and military framework while responsibly managing and controlling weapons. These weapons are intended to serve the Transitional Military Council and the National Liberation Project.

The presence of numerous dissident officers at the movement’s meeting indicates a level of acceptance and popularity for the project. Holding the meeting within areas controlled by the Turkish-backed National Army suggests possible cooperation or points of convergence between the National Army and Tlass’s Military Council.

While some view the current form of the Military Council and the movement as potentially unreliable or one among several projects, there remains a glimmer of hope as the movement has garnered substantial international support and acceptance.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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