Syrian opposition rejects repetition of "Iraqi scenario"

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-15 20:09:48

Syria's main opposition party at home denounced on Monday recent calls for an expanded investigation of chemical weapons' use in Syria, saying they don't want a repetition of Iraqi scenario in Syria.

The oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) made the comments Monday in a press conference in the capital Damascus, during which they stressed that all allegations of chemical weapons' use should be investigated but without involving the Syrian army's depots.

"Any investigation about the use of chemical weapons from any party must involve all allegations without investigating the weapons' depots of the Syrian army because we don't want to repeat the Iraqi scenario in our country," Safwan Akkash, member of the NCB, told reporters.

"The probe should only cover all the allegations of chemical weapons' use but the Syrian weapons should be out of question," he said.

The comments came on the heels of the recent wrangling between the Syrian government and the UN about investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian soil.

The chemical weapons' frenzy came days after Damascus refused an expanded UN probe that was planned to conduct the investigation of chemical weapons' use in several Syrian cities.

The event was triggered last month when the Syrian government accused the rebels in northern Syria of firing a chemical rocket at the town of Khan al-Asal in Aleppo province that killed more than 26 people. The rebels denied accusations and turned the finger toward government forces.

Syria urged the UN to send a "technical team" to investigate the specific site, but the UN later said it wanted an expanded probe which Damascus did not agree upon. Damascus considered the probe as an attempt to "infringe upon Syria's sovereignty."

Meanwhile, the NCB slammed also the radical rebels' recent allegiance with al-Qaida, stressing that such groups' ideology " contradicts our hopes and aspirations for a national and democratic change."

"We appeal for the halt of arms funneling to all (Syrian) parties without exceptions after the outright declaration by some parties of their connection to al-Qaida and we stress that those powers contradict our hopes and aspirations for a national and democratic change," Rajaa al-Naser, another member of NCB, said.

"We also call for the departure of all non-Syrian fighters regardless of where they came from or the title they are fighting under; whether it was for supporting the regime or to fight against it," he added.

The NCB also called on the international envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, not to submit his resignation because such move "would be conducive in widening the circle of violence" in Syria.

Rumors have recently made the rounds about Brahimi's willingness to resign his post in frustration of the faltering efforts to find a political solution to Syria's prolonged stalemate.

Posted in: Mid-East

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