A member of the so-called Syrian National Council said in Istanbul on Monday that they only want regime change in Syria.
Mahmoud Osman said, “This regime is over. The Assad family will be erased from Syria’s history. They should find a safe refuge for themselves. We at the national council only negotiate one thing with Assad, which is the manner of his departure from Syria.”
Foreign-backed armed groups have time and again rejected the idea of laying down their arms. They also oppose the peace plan proposed by UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan.
Diplomats meeting in Geneva in late June reached an agreement on a Syria-led transitional governing body that could include members of the current Syrian government and the opposition.
The foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi also attended the Geneva meeting.
Annan said the participants of the Geneva meeting agreed that the transitional governing body in Syria “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”
Syria has been experiencing unrest ever since March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians