The Syrian National Coalition is the only side with the legitimacy and authorization to administer Raqqa after its liberation from the Islamic State (ISIS), the body's president Riyad Seif said, adding that "any other solution imposed by coercion will be a time bomb and a beginning of civil war."
During a panel discussion in Istanbul on Wednesday, Seif said that enabling the people of Raqqa to administer their city under the supervision of the Coalition-backed interim government is the "best solution."
He stressed the need to “rectify” the consequences of assigning the task of Raqqa’s liberation to the Kurdish militias of the Democratic Union Party, lamenting the exclusion of the Free Syrian Army from operations to recapture the city. “The moderate opposition groups would have effectively carried out the task had they received support from the friends of the Syrian people,” he added.
For his part, the interim government's Prime Minister Jawad Abu Hatab said that the administration of Raqqa and the restoration of essential services will benefit everyone as it will help the fight against extremism, eliminate the sources of terrorism, restore stability to the region and enable the displaced to return to their homes.
Moreover, Coalition member Mustafa Nawaf Ali said that the situation in the province of Raqqa has "reached a critical stage after its people had endured unbearable suffering resulting from ISIS’ proclamation of Raqqa as the capital of their savage state.”
Ali pointed out that the elimination of terrorism cannot be achieved through cosmetic measures, but by “eliminating the conditions that lead to the respawn [sic] of terrorism.” He stressed the need to “enable the people of the region to administer their areas and preserve the social structure and the demographic landscape.”
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.