US against sanctions for Ahrar Al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam

By Esra Kaymak Avci

WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. does not support placing Ahrar Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam on a U.N. sanction’s list, the State Department said Wednesday.

“We don’t want to see that happen,” said spokesman Mark Toner said. “We think that that would have damaging consequences to the cessation.”

Sanctioning the two groups that are parties to a cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria, would be an obstacle as the U.S. tries to “de-escalate the situation on the ground”, Toner said. “We don’t believe that that’s constructive.”

The truce in Syria agreed to by the U.S. and Russia — co-chairs of International Syria Support Group working to find a solution to the crisis in the country — excluded Daesh and al-Nusra.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, recently proposed the U.N. place sanctions on Ahrar Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam, claiming the groups were linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh.

The request had been previously proposed by Russia, Toner said.