Syrian rebels threaten peace talk boycott over alleged cease-fire violations


Groups within the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced late on Monday that they have temporarily frozen all peace talks with the Assad regime due to continuous breaches in the cease-fire by regime forces across Syria.

In a statement, the rebel groups said that any territorial advances by the army and Iran-backed militias would end the effort to restart peace talks as well as a fragile cease-fire brokered by Russian Federation and Turkey that went into effect on December 30. The peace talks were slated to be held in Kazakh capital Astana later this month.

The report came as a ceasefire brokered by Russian Federation and Turkey held for a fourth day amid sporadic violations.

The ceasefire deal, and the plan for peace talks, received the unanimous backing of the UN Security Council on Saturday.

People inspect an area in Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria, after Assad Regime forces used vacuum bombs in what rebel groups say was a violation of ceasefire agreements.

This came in the wake of an announcement last Friday by the Egyptian foreign ministry claiming that Egypt is now considering taking part in the resolution of the Syrian crisis and that it will announce its position on the matter "soon".

Rebels say government strikes caused the damage, which has left four million people in Damascus without water since December 22.

A resolution welcoming the ceasefire, the third truce this year seeking to end almost six years of war, was adopted unanimously by the 15-member Council, meeting in NY.

He said the negotiations scheduled for mid-January will be held between the Syrian government and opposition groups that have agreed to give up the fight to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

They cited ceasefire violations accusing Syrian government forces and its allies as being responsible.

Since the ceasefire came into effect, more than 1,000 women and children have fled Wadi Barada for regions controlled by the Syrian government.

The government and the opposition disagree about whether the region is part of the ceasefire agreement, which excludes extremist factions such as Islamic State and al Qaida's affiliate, known as the Fatah al-Sham Front.

The conflict has killed more than 310,000 people, and displaced over half the population, including millions who have fled overseas, becoming refugees.



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