'Win at all cost' Syrian rebels shun diplomatic solution

'Win at all cost' Syrian rebels shun diplomatic solution
Many among the Syrian rebels will fight to the end to win the conflict and will do anything to sabotage the diplomatic effort that offers a non-violent solution, Eugene Puryear from the ANSWER coalition told RT.

RT:Is the final approval of a draft resolution going to be a breakthrough in the Syrian crisis?

Eugene Puryear: I think there is certainly a possibility there. It shows that we are trending towards a diplomatic solution, at least on the issue of chemical weapons. But the other issue that remains outstanding is what will happen outside the issue of chemical weapons? Will diplomacy be pursued by the US or will they continue to fund, as they have to fund the opposition and arm the opposition and facilitate that happening and try to deepen the conflict and overthrow Assad in another way.

The resolution will have no enforcement in line with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that allows the use of force if the UNSC approves. Is this a victory for the Russian position on the Syrian crisis?

EP: It is certainly a victory for the international community and the idea that the United States can play the judge-jury and executioner on this issue as they were trying to determine for the whole world what was true and what was false. So I think what has happened here, at least so far, is the victory for the people of the world who have stood up and said that they do not want a deeper war by the US in the Middle East and in fact they want to see a diplomatic solution in Syria in this conflict.

RT:In case either the government or the rebels violate the convention on chemical weapons, the UN Security Council is going to convene again in order to revise military involvement.  Do you think Syria will meet all the conditions to avoid it?

EP: That latter piece is very important to see and we have seen evidence presented today by Russia as to the potential ability of the rebels to push these sorts of chemical weapons attacks. I think certainly, the Security Council reconvenes and this chemical weapons agreement is off track we could be in a place where could happen again but I like to hope that is not the case.

RT:Do you think Syria will meet all the conditions?

EP: I'd like to hope so, we’re going to have to see. But we have seen [others] far more willing than rebel forces to engage in diplomacy on many issues. If you remember it was the Syrian regime that accepted the Russian and American proposal for the Geneva 2 peace talks and the rebels who rejected it. Despite what we hear in a lot of the US media, there is no reason to think that Syria will not hold up their end of the bargain, particularly after they so enthusiastically pursued the Russian proposal for a diplomatic solution.

RT:Sergey Lavrov also called on the Syrian opposition to assist in the disarmament process. Is it possible and who is going to be responsible for it, considering the divisions among the rebels?

EP: It could be practical but certainly Syrian rebels have shown that they very displeased from what they’ve seen in terms of the chemical weapons agreement. We saw just the other day that a number of rebel groups have rejected to a large degree the leadership from exiled group and I think that many of them are hell-bent on taking the Assad regime, by hooker or by crook, anyway they possibly can and I think if they can find a way to impede this investigation, they certainly might. I hope that is not the case but they had not been anywhere as willing as the Assad regime, or from that matter other forces of the international community in trying to pursue a diplomatic solution here.

RT:When would that be?

EP: Ultimately from their perspective they want to win at all costs and the diplomatic solution presents the possibility that the millions of people inside Syria who still do support the Assad regime, who are many and variegated, they can play a role in some post-civil war sort of government.  And I think most of the forces on the rebel's side, at least those who are impeding these type of things, they do not want to see that. They want to have complete control and they aren’t willing to entertain a diplomatic solution that does not leave them on top of the heap.

RT:The UN investigators are again in Syria to conduct a probe into the use of chemicals last month as Russia called the previous findings one sided. Can the new results somehow change the process of disarming?

EP: Quite a bit rests on it. Obviously with the first report that we saw was that the UN did not want to determine the blame, so perhaps this second report will be more conclusive but ultimately evidence that will come out of here will weigh very heavily in the future. As to the so-called international community, the UN reacts as well as what the situation is on the ground and if further information comes out about if the rebels did or did not use chemical weapons.

Free Syrian Army fighters clean and inspect their weapon in Raqqa province, eastern Syria September 1, 2013 (Reuters / Nour Fourat)