Syria rebels freeze talks on Russia-backed peace conference due to ceasefire violations

Like previous Syria ceasefire deals, it has been shaky from the start

Rebel groups question Russia's ability to force the Syrian government and their allies to abide by the terms of the ceasefire deal
Rebel groups question Russia's ability to force the Syrian government and their allies to abide by the terms of the ceasefire deal

Syrian rebel groups said on Monday they had decided to freeze any talks about their possible participation in Syrian peace negotiations being prepared by Moscow in Kazakhstan unless the Syrian government and its Iran-backed allies end what it said were violations of a ceasefire.

In a statement, the rebel groups also said that any territorial advances by the army and Iran-backed militias that are fighting alongside it would end the fragile ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, which back opposing sides, that came into effect on Friday.

"The regime and its allies have continued firing and committed many and large violations," said the statement signed by the mainly moderate rebel groups operating under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Vladimir Putin announces ceasefire agreement in Syria

The UN Security Council on Saturday gave its blessing to the ceasefire deal, which are slated to be followed by peace talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

The statement said the main violations were in an area northwest of Damascus in the rebel-held Wadi Barada valley, where government forces and the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group have been trying to press advances in an ongoing campaign.

Rebels say the army is seeking to recapture the area, where a major spring provides most of Damascus's water supplies and which lies on a major supply route from Lebanon to the Syrian capital used by Hezbollah.

Like previous Syria ceasefire deals, it has been shaky from the start, with repeated outbreaks of violence in some areas, but has largely held elsewhere.

The rebel groups questioned Russia's ability to force the Syrian government and their allies to abide by the terms of the ceasefire deal.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in