Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood denies calling for military intervention | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- The recent statement by head of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Shaqfah, regarding the Syrian people accepting Turkish intervention to protect its civilians has stirred numerous questions about the possibility of Turkey resorting to this option in order to resolve the Syrian crisis.

While Shaqfah has pointed out that he accepts Turkish intervention in Syria, but not a western one, Faruq Tayfur, Muslim Brotherhood deputy controller general and spokesman at the Syrian National Council, has stressed that, “Shaqfah’s statements came within a talk about the probable scenarios to resolve the Syrian crisis if the Syrian regime does not implement the Arab resolutions, and he did not mean a military intervention.”

“What Shaqfah said about accepting Turkish intervention came within the context of a talk about international intervention to resolve the Syrian crisis. During his talk Shaqfah pointed out that we were pursuing an Arab solution, but if the Syrian regime did not stop the killing then we would not have any objection to Turkish intervention and no-fly zone, but without this meaning a military intervention.” Tayfur told Asharq Al-Awsat

With regard to the opinion of the National Council of this proposal, Tayfur told Asharq Al-Awsat, “Our understanding with the National Council still stems from a fundamental principle, which primarily is the protection of the civilians. Bear in mind that in the light of the continuous international search for a framework for the probable scenarios that could be resorted to in order to topple Al-Assad, this option might be one of the possible scenarios. However, this certainly will not be adopted without Arab and international cover that stipulate the commissioning of Turkey or any other specific side to undertake this mission.”

Regarding speculation that any Turkish intervention will pave the way for international intervention, Tayfur said that, “This might be the case, but it will be aimed at finding various ways and means to stop the killing in Syria; however, this is not yet the time to talk about military intervention.”

With regard to what has been reported by Turkish newspaper Sabah

Tayfur denied reports by the Turkish media that the Syrian National Council, including the Muslim Brotherhood, has asked Turkey to impose a no-fly zone along the Turkish side of the border, stressing, “We have not asked Turkey to do this. However, this issue was discussed at the meeting between the council members and the Turkish foreign minister within the framework of reviewing the probable scenarios to confront the Syrian regime.” In his turn Syrian National Council General Secretariat Member Dr Wail Mirza has stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the National Council communicated with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, and the leadership stressed that the proposal announced the day before yesterday by Muslim Brotherhood Controller General Muhammad Riyad Shaqfah about asking for Turkish intervention in the Syrian crisis was only linked to the request for international protection for the civilians, which has been and still is the demand of the Syrian National Council, and they still are committed to this agreement.

“The Muslim Brotherhood leadership has confirmed to us that this proposal is not a call for a unilateral military intervention, but it is for a Turkish intervention under the umbrella of the Arab League to protect the civilians. This also is what has been confirmed to us by the Turkish foreign minister. Therefore, we are in agreement with Turkey that any intervention will not be by a country unilaterally, and that any step toward protecting the citizens or establishing a buffer zone will be on the basis of Arab League resolutions. The Arab-Turkish coordination still is continuing within this framework following the Syrian regime’s non-implementation of the Arab initiative.” he added.