First Published: 2013-01-24

 

Iran offers grim prediction on Syria conflict: Peace unlikely in 2013

 

In grim assessment of nearly two years of conflict, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad says fighting in Syria is edging closer to civil war.

 

Middle East Online

Iran diplomat: Not all rebels can be called terrorists

BAGHDAD - Syria is unlikely to see peace in 2013 as the fighting in the strife-torn country edges closer to civil war, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaie-Far said on Thursday.

In a grim assessment of nearly two years of conflict in Iraq's western neighbour, Danaie-Far said he believed that not all rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces can be called "terrorists," a term broadly used by the Syrian regime for insurgents.

"I believe it is far-fetched," he said when asked if he thought there could be peace in Syria this year.

"It is unlikely, but we have also noted there were some signals in the past one to two months," he added of remarks by UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi which he said Iran interpreted as marking the "end of the process of military options."

Tehran, a key ally of Damascus, has remained steadfast in its backing for Assad's regime since the Syrian uprising erupted in March 2011.

Speaking through an Iranian embassy Farsi-English translator, Danaie-Far said he believed the conflict, which the United Nations says has already left more than 60,000 people dead, "looks something like" a civil war.

"It is actually a combined form" of conflict, he said.

Specifically asked whether he believed some rebels had legitimate grievances, despite the regime branding them "terrorists," he said: "There are serious opponents and serious defenders and they are fighting together."

Danaie-Far said he did not believe that "anybody who objects (to) the Syrian government is a terrorist."

"They (rebels) have created the conditions where mercenary money and weaponry are injected into Syria."

The diplomat claimed that 70 percent of rebel-held territory was under the control of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, which first gained notoriety for its suicide bombings in Syria.

The group has since evolved into a formidable fighting force leading attacks on battlefronts throughout the embattled country.

Its extremist tactics and suspected affiliation to the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq have landed it on the US list of foreign "terrorist" organisations.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Hundreds protest in Iran after horrendous acid attacks

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Masdar to build first large-scale wind farm in GCC

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria