Syria: why does the opposition complain to the UN?
The seventh round of talks on bringing peace to Syria began on Monday in the Kazakh capital, Astana, with the Turkish, Russian and Iranian delegations holding bilateral negotiations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov previously said he believed that it would be "useful" to expand the number of observer countries.
TRT World reports in its article Seventh round of Syria peace talks begins in Astana that the two-day meeting was the first since an agreement was reached on how to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria. Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the US are also attending the talks. During the talks, the participants will also discuss expanding the number of observer states in the Astana process, to include such states as Iraq and China.
Armed opposition groups held a meeting with a UN delegation and presented four documents to the UN about violations of the cease-fire, the situations of hostages, massacres by the Assad regime and Iran-supported militias, and the reshaping of Syria's ethnic makeup by Iran and the terrorist organisation PKK.
The first document, called Demographic Change, included evidence accusing the regime, in collaboration with the PKK terrorist organisation and the PYD, of driving civilians from their homes and seizing property. The PYD and its armed wing YPG are groups Ankara considers the Syrian branch of the PKK. The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU.
In the second document Karyateyn Massacre: Regime-Daesh Cooperation – it was claimed that Daesh handed the Karyateyn region of Syria’s western Homs province to the regime without a fight, despite government claims it took the area by force.
According to a source, the third document – Hunger Strike in Homs Prison – focuses on the prison’s governor who, it is claimed, tried to convince visiting Red Cross teams that the situation was "positive." Some visuals included in the document showed inmates having been tortured.
The last document – Massacres of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Shia militias in Syria – presented evidence of claims Iran's Revolutionary Guards helped form Daesh.