Syrian government negotiator says Israel working with ISIS

He did not clarify how he believed the developments established a link between Israel and islamist groups.

April 18, 2016 16:47
1 minute read.
Islamist fighters

Islamist fighters in southern Syria. (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)


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The chief Syrian government negotiator at peace talks in Geneva accused Israel on Monday of cooperating with Islamic State and al Qaida militants in the Golan region, deflecting attention from intra-Syrian negotiations.

The Damascus delegation had already sought on Friday to steer the round of peace talks away from the political transition that UN envoy Staffan de Mistura hopes to promote as increased fighting across the country threatens to undermine a shaky truce in place since Feb. 27.

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"This Israeli provocation ... confirms without any doubt the cooperation between Israel and terrorists of Daesh (Islamic State) and Nusra Front on the demarcation line between where the Golan is and UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) troops are positioned," Bashar Ja'afari told reporters after meeting UN mediator Staffan de Mistura.

He was responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's holding of a cabinet meeting in the Golan, the first since it was captured from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed in 1981. He said the annexation, not recognised internationally, would never be rescinded.

"It is no coincidence at all that this Israeli escalation was accompanied by irresponsible statements by members of the so-called Saudi delegation in the intra-Syrian talks here in Geneva," Ja'afari said, referring to the High Negotiations Committee main opposition group. Some members of the HNC have called on rebel fighters to resume attacks on government forces.

"The fact that all that happened simultaneously clearly indicates there are close ties between Israelis, and I regret to say some Arabs and some terrorists within Syria," he said.

He did not clarify how he believed the developments established a link between Israel and islamist groups.

He said he had sent letters to the UN Secretary General and Security Council requesting they immediately intervene to condemn the cabinet meeting and request it did not reoccur.

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