Syrian opposition call on Hamas not to re-establish ties with 'criminal' Syrian regime

Syrian opposition call on Hamas not to re-establish ties with 'criminal' Syrian regime
The Syrian National Coalition has condemned a reported decision by Hamas to restore ties with President Bashar al-Assad's regime, ten years after it cut them off following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict.
3 min read
30 June, 2022
Hamas leaders had previously endorsed the uprising against Assad’s autocratic rule [Getty]

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has said they oppose a reported decision by Hamas to restore ties with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The coalition - which includes a number of groups opposed to the Syrian regime - labelled the move a "disregard for the lives of Syrians and Palestinians who were killed by this regime and its allies", in a statement on Thursday.

The Palestinian Islamist group reportedly decided to restore ties 10 years after shunning Assad for his brutal crackdown on a peaceful uprising against his rule, Reuters said earlier this month.

The movement withdrew from Damascus, where it previously had offices, in 2012 and publically endorsed the revolution after the regime's bloody suppression of the uprising.

An official - who requested anonymity - told the international news agency the two sides had embarked on "high profile meetings to achieve that goal".

The Syrian opposition body has now called on Hamas to rethink its decision.

"The Syrian National Coalition calls upon Hamas not to distort the history of the struggle for freedom and independence, by aligning with a criminal regime," the coalition stated.

"Hamas will not be of any service for the Palestinian cause if it sides with sabotage, murder, rape and torturing [people] to death."

The statement added that normalisation with the Assad regime would not represent the "just cause of the Palestinian people" living under Israeli occupation.

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It warned that Hamas would "lose its support in the nation" if it restored ties with the Assad regime, saying the regime had a "deep-seated grudge" against Hamas and all Palestinians.

The recently revealed 2013 massacre in the Damascus suburb of Tadamon - where many Palestinian refugees displaced by Israel in 1948 had resettled- showed the regime horrifically executing at least 41 people, some of whom are believed to be Palestinians.

During the Syrian conflict, the regime also imposed a starvation siege on the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus, which was captured by opposition forces.

The conflict in Syria began in 2011 and has seen over 500,000 people killed, most of them in bombardments of civilian areas by the regime and its ally Russia.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 but since then several Arab states have restored relations with the regime, including the UAE, Oman and Jordan.