Yesterday (Jan. 18), the command of the jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham published a statement which read the group wouldn’t participate in the Astana talks.
According to the militants, they had to take this decision because “the ceasefire is not implemented”. Moreover, the group said it was against Russia being a guarantor of the agreement.
To be reminded is that Ahrar al-Sham took part in the opposition meeting in Ankara which resulted in a united delegation list was drafted. The militants seem to have decided to violate the brokered agreements.
Unfortunately, Ahrar al-Sham’s statement means only one thing: the group doesn’t want peace in Syria and may be up to maintain combat even if the Astana negotiations are successful. The militants may have been influenced by their sponsor Saudi Arabia which is trying to impede the Syrian crisis. Ahrar al-Sham might have also been influenced by other radical terror groups, i.e. the Islamic State.
Earlier, Inside Syria Media Center supposed that the IS offensive in Deir Ezzor show the terrorists can influence other groups to torpedo the peace agreement.