Russia asks United Nations to blacklist Syria rebel groups
Moscow: Russia has asked the United Nations to blacklist two major Syrian rebel groups, one of which is playing a key role in talks to end the conflict.
Vitaly Churkin, the country’s ambassador to the UN, on Tuesday asked the world body to list Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, on a blacklist that includes the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. Mohammed Alloush, a leading figure in Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), is the chief negotiator for the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the war-torn country’s main opposition group, at UNbrokered peace talks in Geneva. Mr Churkin said that the two groups are “closely linked to terrorist organisations, primarily ISIL and Al-Qaeda.” The groups “both give (ISIL and Nusra) and receive from them financial, material, technical and military support,” he said. Both Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham have fought alongside the al-Nusra front against Assad forces but all are at war with ISIL (also known as ISIS). Al Jazeera