Fighting puts Syria peace negotiations at risk

The decision threatens the process sponsored by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey, which began with a truce and is meant to lead to negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana this month.

Fighting puts Syria peace negotiations at risk

World Bulletin / News Desk

A dozen Syrian rebel factions have suspended talks on new peace negotiations, accusing President Bashar al-Assad's regime of violating a four-day-old ceasefire with attacks near Damascus that continued Tuesday.

The ceasefire has brought quiet to large parts of the country but has been undermined by sporadic violence, particularly fighting in the Wadi Barada region north of Damascus that supplies the capital's water.

Government forces backed by fighters from Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah have continued to press a two-week-old offensive in Wadi Barada despite the ceasefire which began December 30.

A dozen rebel groups announced in a statement late Monday the "freezing of all discussion linked to the Astana negotiations."

The rebels said they had adhered to the ceasefire, but accused the regime of "major and frequent violations, notably in the (rebel) regions of Wadi Barada and Eastern Ghouta", near Damascus.

"If things don't return to how they were before, the accord will be considered null and void," the statement added.

It was signed by a dozen groups, including the Army of Islam, Faylaq al-Sham, and the Sultan Murad Brigade, which is close to Turkey.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ocak 2017, 17:54
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