The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (NCSROF) and armed Syrian rebel groups met in Turkey for a two day summit starting Monday, resulting in a new five stage roadmap for tackling the Assad regime.
Led by Khalid Khoja, the NCSROF gathered delegations of regional representatives of opposition controlled areas and rebel group leaders in Istanbul to discuss the creation of a new joint action plan and recent opposition victories in north and south Syria.
The meeting was attended by leaders from Ahrar ash Sham, Jesh al-Islam, Damascus Corps and six other rebel groups while 13 municipalities sent delegates to the talks.
The al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, the largest armed opposition group in Syria, was not included in the talks.
“Your brothers and sons in the rebel forces are going out in a blaze of glory and heroism unparalleled in the history of humankind, armed with light and [a] few medium weapons,” Khoja said about recent rebel advances against the Assad regime.
“Syrians have been countering weapons of mass destruction and heavy weapons, and they are overcoming them,” he continued.
Hailing rebel victories in the cities of Idlib, Bosra al-Sham, Jisr al-Shughour and Al-Ghab Plain Khoja said that opposition forces were now close to liberating the entirety of the provinces of Dara’a and Idlib.
Khoja expressed enthusiasm for a potential victory against the Assad regime, citing Damascus’ failing economy and loss of support from formerly regime sympathising Syrians.
Khoja reiterated that the Syrian opposition would not accept any diplomatic solution ending the Syrian civil war which did not include the ouster of the country’s long term dynastic autocrat Bashar al-Assad.
“The Syrian National Coalition, which derives its legitimacy from its commitment to the objectives of the Syrian people and the revolution of freedom and dignity, stresses once again that it will not accept any political settlement that does not include overthrowing Bashar al-Assad and his gang.”
His words come contrary to efforts by the United Nations which seeks to reach a diplomatic solution to the war in Syria in which Assad would continue to serve as president until elections are held at an unspecified date.