Russia, Turkey top diplomats discuss preparations for Syrian Dialogue Congress

Russia, Turkey top diplomats discuss preparations for Syrian Dialogue Congress

Russia, Turkey top diplomats discuss preparations for Syrian Dialogue Congress

Representatives of the Free Syrian Army are reportedly pressing USA officials to resume a defunct Central Intelligence Agency program that provided military aid to the rebel group in its struggle against President Bashar Assad, citing the need to counter Iranian influence in war-torn Syria.

Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in the opposition group, said on Monday that the envoys described to USA officials the damaging impact of President Donald Trump's decision to stop funding armed groups on the ground.

According to him, these measures would be necessary to fulfil Trump's intent to "confront Iranian hegemony in the region" and to curtail the activities of "the Iranian militias that are expanding without serious resistance".

Reuters, citing Syrian opposition sources, reported that a Free Syrian Army delegation has met with members of Congress and representatives from the White House in an appeal to restore the program.

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He also referred to his meeting with Leader of Islamic Revolution on Tuesday, saying he had the honor to extend the warm greetings of Syrian President Bashar Assad to Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian nation.

The Iranian President said on Tuesday that the United States government's initiative to create a largely Kurdish border force in northeastern Syria is aimed at undermining the country's territorial integrity. Whilst he did not specify the FSA, Turkey has had much contact with the group as one of their primary backers.

The Syrian opposition said the previous U.S. administration of President Barack Obama had given "Iran a free ride" in Syria.

The SDF is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, and has mostly avoided conflict with the Syrian government while seeking to entrench Kurdish autonomy over regions of northern Syria.

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