Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari/AFP/Getty Images.
Syrian opposition groups have rejected a political transition plan on Sunday that was brokered by the U.N. for the country.
The transition plan, accepted in Geneva on Saturday by an international conference, would leave the door open to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's participation in a transitional unity government, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. had originally insisted that the transition plan cut the Assad regime completely out of the process, but compromised with Russia on that point in order to encourage the country to pressure Syria, its ally, to end its violent response to opposition groups.
Syrian opposition groups refuse to negotiate with Assad or with members of his government. Because of this, opposition figure Haitham Maleh called the transition plan a waste of time, adding that "the Syrian people are the ones who will decide the battle on the ground, not those sitting in Geneva or New York or anywhere else," the AP reports.
The U.N.'s previous attempt to solve the Syrian conflict fizzled as a six-point peace plan hinging on a cease fire agreement in the country was increasingly ignored by Syrian forces and armed opposition groups.
This past week has been one of the bloodiest in the 16-month span since an uprising began against the Assad regime. According to the country's main opposition group, at least 800 have been killed in one week, the Associated Press reports.
As the AP points out, that would make last week's death toll almost as high as the average death toll in the country for an entire month, which sits at about 900. An estimated 14,000 have been killed in the country during the uprising, according to the opposition Syrian National Council.
The country's bloody week began as tensions continued to rise between Syria and Turkey after an incident in which a Turkish military jet was shot down by Syrian forces. The incident drew a condemnation from NATO, who have not indicated that they will take further action against Syria. Turkey, meanwhile, has increased its military presence on its border with Syria, and both countries have been sending aircraft close to the border. According to CNN, Turkey has indicated it will consider any other Syrian military approach to the border as a threat, and will respond accordingly.