Syrian opposition negotiator calls for renewed attacks on regime despite truce
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The Syrian opposition's chief negotiator on Sunday called for renewed attacks on regime forces, despite the shaky truce deal between government troops and rebel fighters.
Mohammed Alloush, a leading political figure in the Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) rebel group, is in Geneva as the senior negotiator of the High Negotiations Committee.
A fellow opposition figure said Alloush's hawkish statement did not represent the HNC's position.
"Don't trust the regime and don't wait for their pity," Alloush wrote on Twitter.
"Strike them at their necks (kill them). Strike them everywhere," he said, reciting a passage from the Koran dealing with war.
Alloush's Jaish al-Islam is party to the fragile ceasefire deal between Syria's government and non-jihadist rebel groups.
Brokered by the US and Russia, the truce had seen violence drop across parts of Syria since it came into force on February 27.
But a recent surge of fighting in the northern province of Aleppo has threatened to collapse the deal and derail the peace talks in Switzerland.
Jaish al-Islam is the most powerful rebel group in the Eastern Ghouta opposition bastion outside Damascus.
Alloush himself was relatively unknown before joining the HNC because he had spent much of his life in Saudi Arabia pursuing Islamic religious studies.
"Alloush's position is personal. We as the HNC cannot adopt this position," said Yahya al-Aridi, a member of the broader consultative delegation in Geneva, when asked about Alloush's statement.
More than 270,000 people have been killed and millions more have been displaced since Syria's conflict erupted in 2011.