Ghouta Mediation Succeeds

The crisis threatened to escalate into an armed conflict between the two largest opposition groups in Damascus and its countryside

Mediation efforts led by religious figures and leaders in the Syrian opposition, most notably the former President of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Moaz Khatib, have succeeded in resolving disagreements in eastern Ghouta between the Army of Islam, led by Zahran Alloush, the Shariah Commission in Damascus and the Islamic Union of the Soldiers of the Levant, led by Muhammad al-Fateh.

 

The three parties deleted hostile statements published last week on their official pages on Facebook and replaced them with brief statements of  apology.

 

The conflict was preceded by the kidnap of the Vice President of the Shariah Commission in Damascus and its countryside, Riad Kharqi (Abu Thabet), by the Army of Islam. He was taken from his workplace at the Shariah Court and brutally assaulted at the Tawba (repentance) prison.

 

The Shariah Commission criticized the Army of Islam on Monday for "exclusionary practices and attempts to disable the unification of Jihadists and the judiciary system", arguing that "this act will distract the Jihadists from their most important goal; that is to get rid of the criminal regime."

 

The criticism was supported by the Islamic Union of the Soldiers of the Levant, the second largest organization of opposition fighters in Damascus and its countryside and the southern region.

 

The crisis threatened to escalatae into an armed conflict between the two largest opposition groups in Damascus and its countryside and prompted several parties to mobilize their efforts, most notably Khatib, who revealed via his official Facebook page that he was in contact with both Alloush and Fateh to solve the problem through a neutral court.

 

The efforts yielded positive results, with all parties accepting arbitration through a third party. They agreed last Thursday to withdraw mutual accusations, published in the previous statements by the three parties.

 

The Islamic Union for the Soldiers of the Levant published a brief statement saying: "In response to the adjudication issued by the judge Abu Abdul Rahman Zain about the recent events in eastern Ghouta, we withdraw our statement in this regard and apologize for it".

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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