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Syrian Rebels: Government, Russia Responsible if Talks Fail

  • VOA News

FILE - Residents inspect a crater at a site hit by what activists said were three consecutive air strikes carried out by the Russian air force, the last which hit an ambulance, in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 12, 2016.

FILE - Residents inspect a crater at a site hit by what activists said were three consecutive air strikes carried out by the Russian air force, the last which hit an ambulance, in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 12, 2016.

Syrian opposition said Saturday that it is “impossible” to start negotiations with the government before the implementation of U.N. resolutions on humanitarian issues.

A joint statement signed by 45 opposition and rebel groups said that while they support a political process, they hold Syrian government and Russia responsible for any failure of peace talks to end the country's civil war, due to their “ongoing crimes.”

Peace talks at risk

The latest round of Syria peace talks are scheduled to begin on Monday in Geneva. However, the talks are at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who should be in the opposition delegation.

Opposition groups have denounced Russia for dictating conditions for their participation in the Geneva talks. They say will not take part in talks while Syrians die from blockades and Russian and government airstrikes.

Moscow is a key ally of the Syrian government and has been carrying out airstrikes against insurgents since Sept. 30.

Biden in Turkey


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said after meeting with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, right, following a joint news conference after their meeting in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Jan. 23, 2016.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, right, following a joint news conference after their meeting in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Jan. 23, 2016.



Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he was confident the Syria peace talks would proceed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, center, to attend a ?Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 23, 2016.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, center, to attend a ?Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 23, 2016.



Kerry made his comments after holding talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Saudi Arabia.

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