News   /   Syria

Saudi-backed militants cry foul as countries resume ties with Syria

Nasr al-Hariri, the Syrian opposition's chief negotiator, gives a press conference in Moscow on October 26, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Syria’s Saudi-backed groups are desperately calling on world nations to stop rebuilding ties with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh on Sunday, Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the Syrian opposition's so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said he was surprised that some Arab leaders, who once backed anti-Assad forces, were now seeking reconciliation with Damascus.

“We do not have the power to stop this reconciliation,” Nasr Hariri told reporters in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based. “We still hope there is a possibility for (these countries) to revisit their decisions.”

Last month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – who has, over the past years, built good relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- became the first Arab head of state to pay an official visit to Damascus and sit down for talks with Assad.

Days later, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) re-opened its embassy in the Syrian capital. Bahrain also followed suit, adding that the Syrian embassy in Manama had been operating “without interruption.”

Jordan is also reported to be considering normalizing with Syria.

Kuwait indicated last week that more Arab countries were going to re-open their diplomatic missions in Damascus in the “coming days,” even though such decisions need a green light from the Arab League first.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in 2011, as foreign-backed militants declared war against Assad. The League now needs to reach a consensus before reinstating Syria.

“We do not think it would be a sound step to readmit Syria into the Arab League. We think this is a decision that won’t be in the interest of the political process,” Hariri said.

Saudi Arabia and some other US-allied Arab regimes of the Persian Gulf region were the main regional backers of anti-Assad militant groups, providing them with money and weapons as part of a program coordinated by Washington.

Seven years into the deadly conflict, however, Assad has been able to score major victories against Daesh and other terrorist groups, purging them from most parts of the country with help from Iran, Russia and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

Around 10 months after the outbreak of militancy in Syria, Assad had predicted in an address to a group of Syrian youths that “the same Arab countries that are now hatching plots against us return to Damascus to apologize.”

“This is nothing new to us. We Syrians are noble Arabs and will not back off from our position,” he added.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku