Saturday 21 April 2018

Islamist rebels in Syria reject peace talks

A man carries a wounded child after what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad in the Al-Maysar neighborhood of Aleppo January 19, 2014. Photo: Reuters
A man carries a wounded child after what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad in the Al-Maysar neighborhood of Aleppo January 19, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Oliver Holmes

A powerful alliance of Syrian Islamist rebels has rejected upcoming peace talks.

Syria's main political opposition group in exile, the National Coalition, agreed on Saturday to attend the talks beginning on Wednesday in Geneva. But the Islamic Front, an alliance of several Islamist forces, said yesterday it rejected the talks.

Syria's future would be "formulated here on the ground of heroism, and signed with blood on the front lines," Abu Omar, a leading member of the Islamic Front, said via Twitter.

In what appeared to be a symbolic conciliatory move ahead of the talks, Syria permitted some aid to reach a besieged suburb of Damascus, state media said.

But there is little sign of violence abating. Rebel fighters from Syria's Qalamoun mountain range said more than 60 opposition militants had been killed in an ambush by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad yesterday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assadmonitoring group, said that 194 people had been killed on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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