Inside Syria Forum Aims to Support FSA Against Terrorism

Conference aims to better include those inside Syria in the Coaliton activities

In its final communique, the Second Conference of the Inside Syria Forum said that "the international community's refusal to hit Assad's forces and topple his regime is not the correct strategy to fight terrorism, and that striking the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might become another reason for the growth of terrorism".

 

According to the statement from the conference, which was held in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, "the fight against terrorism can only be through supporting the Free Syrian Army, and fighting against all the external and internal terrorist militias that support Assad's regime in suppressing the people's will".

 

Participants recommended the completion of developing the regulations and laws governing the work of the Syrian National Coalition and its institutions, develop mechanisms and systems to change the members of the Coalition gradually, expand the Coalition by one-third percentage, and develop the standards suggested by the activists inside Syria, considering their membership, taking into account the inclusion of women in the expansion.

 

Some 150 activists from inside Syria and neighboring countries participated in the conference, called for by the Syrian National Coalition in order to "discuss the mechanisms for the participation of the revolutionary movements in the political decision-making process of the Coalition, and the transfer of opposition institutions into Syria to strengthen cooperation between the activists and the Syrian National Coalition," according to Coalition figures.

 

The forum included workshops, and several common political, media and relief projects were proposed. In this context, the Secretary General of the Coalition, Nasr al-Hariri, told Al-Arabiya that "these meetings will help in the formation of workshops to discuss the necessary steps and the challenges and constraints that prevent the Coalition institutions from moving into Syria. These workshops will propose the solutions to find a plan that will lead to moving the opposition institutions into the liberated areas".

 

"We hope that a safe zone will be imposed on the Syrian-Turkish border, which will facilitate the process of moving Coalition institutions to the liberated areas, and thus eliminate a lot of the current obstacles that are delaying this move," Hariri said.

 

Some activists complained about the absence of "effective names" in the Gaziantep meetings. The secretary of the local council of the city of Aleppo, Salem al-Atrash, criticized the absence of many activists.

 

"The discussions and plans put forward do not fit the… situation in many of the cities that are exposed to intense attacks by regime forces, particularly Aleppo and Mork, where regime forces are advancing," Atrash said.

 

The Director of Education in the province of Idleb, Jamal Shahoud, also criticized the way activists were invited to the conference; the majority of the activists inside Syria had not heard about it, he said, while attendees at Gaziantep were told personally through friends.

 

"The conference is a sign of communication between the Coalition and the activists inside, but this initiative began with an incorrect step. We were not invited to the conference, we learned about it through our friends. We applied to attend the conference and our participation was confirmed on this basis," Shahoud said.

 

"I am sure that 70% of the activists inside Syria haven't heard about this conference, so the Coalition has to expand the circle of media so that the news reaches everybody."

 

Some of the conference meetings saw arguments break out between the supporters and opponents of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), where some Kurd and Arab activists  demanded the opening of the file related to what they described as "the party's crimes against its opponents in Hassakeh province". 

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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