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(Reuters) The Syrian opposition will not attend peace talks due to start on Tuesday in the Kazakh capital Astana, blaming Russia’s unwillingness to end air strikes on rebel-held areas and its failure to put pressure on the Syrian army to abide by a widely violated ceasefire.

Osama Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the rebels said they had taken a final decision not to go to the talks as a result of Russia’s failure to end what the opposition says are widespread violations of a Turkish-Russian brokered ceasefire last December.

“Currently the decision is not to go as a result of Russia continuing its crimes in Syria against civilians and its support of the crimes of the Syrian regime,” he said, adding that they had informed Turkey, a main backer of the rebels, of their decision.

Colonel Ahmad Othman, who heads the Turkish-backed Sultan Murad rebel brigade, earlier said rebels were awaiting a Russian response to a letter that demands Moscow acts as a guarantor and ends violations of the ceasefire.

“Nothing has been implemented so far,” said Othman, complaining of Russian strikes on civilians and assaults by the Syrian army in rebel-held areas.

Syrian rebel groups on Saturday called for the postponement of the Russian-backed peace talks in Kazakhstan and said further meetings would depend on whether the Syrian government and its allies adhered to a newly declared March 7-20 ceasefire.

Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict, and has launched a diplomatic peace initiative after its air force helped the Syrian government defeat rebels in Aleppo in December – Assad’s biggest victory of the war.

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The rebels said the government and its Iranian-backed militia allies were continuing to bombard opposition-held areas near Damascus, Homs, Deraa and Idlib, and preparing to storm two districts on the outskirts of the Syrian capital.

“Moscow has not lived up to its commitments. The main demand is stopping the bombardment and displacement of people,” Othman added.

Rebels said an evacuation deal reached on Monday that forces rebel fighters to leave the opposition-held besieged Homs district of al-Waer dealt a blow to Russia’s attempts to portray itself as a credible guarantor of the ceasefire deal.

The evacuation deal was seen as a surrender forced upon rebels after relentless bombing by Syrian jets of the teeming neighborhood with Moscow’s seal of approval.

“It seems Russia invites us to Astana and then imposes forcible displacement of the people of al-Waer … Moscow has not kept its promises,” said Mohammad Alloush, the head of the armed factions’ delegations participating in the past two Astana rounds.

Alloush later confirmed they were not attending saying Moscow had not kept its promises to stop the bombing of civilian areas or ending displacement of people in rebel pockets near Damascus.

“We want to show the world that the Russians want a political solution that is only in the media. They have to change their policies if they are seeking a solution,” Alloush added.

Separately, Salem al Muslet, a spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee, the mainstream opposition body, said Russia’s unwillingness to put pressure on the Syrian government and its allies was behind the hesitation to come to Astana.

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He said the factions were so far resisting pressure to go.

“There is intense pressure on the factions but they are holding on to their position which is not different from the situation inside where people are suffering and they cannot override their wishes,” Muslet told Al Hadath TV channel.

“If they go to Astana and the shelling is continuing this would be problem, so if the Russians wanted the success of Astana, the guarantor has to take steps, he added.

“There are just hours left before the conference and something could happen,” he added without elaborating.

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Stern Daler
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Let them have war if they do not talk about peace.

p.s. The rebels, Turkish and KSA mercenaries alike, broke the peace conditions themselves and complain. The Sultan Murad Turkish brigade broke the peace in Manbij and Alloush’s KSA brigade in Damascus.

Assad must stay
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Assad must stay

And in Deraa as well ❗

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Stern Daler

Then the last bigger moderate FSA grouping is in bed with Nusra & co.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Bah, at the time of the Crusades, Saracens used to accuse the Crusaders of being cannibals and these mofos complained while it was nothing else than themselves who were the cause of the Crusades. Same thing with the Mongols : they launched jihad against the kuffar Mongols, acting exactly like they did in France in 732AD or like ISIS is doing now, then they whined when the Mongols sacked Baghdad and many areas! Jihad is considered to have killed, over 1400 years, between 270 and 750 millions people and they use the same lies against everybody and always whine and… Read more »

RomeSPQR
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RomeSPQR

Well, regarding a previous discussion, you mentionned something very surprizing and strange, and it would be cool to give further arguments about it to defend your point of view 😉 you said that the PLO is not secular and that it belongs to the muslim brotherhood organization. I find this extremely wrong and so it would be cool if you give the argument : – P

Daeshbags Sux
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Arafat succeeded his uncle Amin al-Husseini as “Palestinian” Leader (Arafat was Egyptian BTW, thus most of the ‘Palestinians’ are Egyptians, Syrians, Jordans and even Saudis or Iraqis, how do you thing numbers have grown from 600k to 6.5M in 69 years? Gaza is wonderful : 300k in 1970, 1.8M now) Amin entered the Brotherhood in 1935, Arafat joined in 1948, thus very discretely. It wasn’t a good idea hoping the Soviet to back bigots so let’s practise Taqiyyah. He many times praised Allah’s will to destroy Israel, called to jihad and once they conquered, err, sorry, “liberated” fully Israel from… Read more »

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Chauhan Chauhan

when turkiish backed FSA broke the ceasefire in alleppo by tergeting SAA this scum terriost are not talking. Alloush is the biggest alqeada terriost pretend to be innocent . scrap the ceasfire and and let them go to h**l if this scum really care about the syrian they should have not started the war and supported the terriost. they using ceasefire to regroup and strike aleppo city back to take dont trust turkey at all

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

+1!

slavonac
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slavonac

You squandered the good will of the Russians, Syrian Government and the people of Syria so many times, that it is laughable now that you of all are crying fault? Reap what you sow

philias
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philias

Boohoo they are loosing who cares if they talk exterminate the lot of these zionist lackeys

Daeshbags Sux
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Actually, they’re all Muslim Brotherhood offshoots, so are Hamas and PLO/Fatah. Is Hamas a zionist lackey? Actually, it’s the Brotherhood which pushed everybody in the Muslim world into Jew hatred and into attacking Israel while even Coran says this land belongs to the Jew! “If the Jewish state becomes a fact, (the Arabs) will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea” – Hassan al-Banna, founder of Muslim Brotherhood, 1948 Amin al-Husseini joined the Brotherhood in 1935 (and later the Waffen SS), his nephew Yasser Arafat joined in 1948, it’s the Brotherhood who translated Mein Kampf in… Read more »

RomeSPQR
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I am not arguing about Hamas nor about the Muslim brotherhood. I don’t like these organizations. As for PLO, it is another story. Arafat supported the Muslim brotherhood agenda while he was a teenage during his fight against Israel around 1948-1949. This is true, but he founded Fateh (with others) ten years later in the 50ies based on a secular agenda. PLO is a pure leftist organization since that time (except for some bad mistakes during the civil war in Lebanon). On a side note, Arafat even got a nobel price alongside of Ishac Rabbin I think. The latter was… Read more »

Assad must stay
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Assad must stay
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Stupid Alouche, give back the land that you stole in Deraa for example ❗

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Nestor Arapa
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No quiere asistir por que a perdido, muchos de sus militantes lo abandonaron por que se sintieron traicionados. Teme seguir perdiendo hombres a través de la deserción.
Lo mejor que puede hacer Rusia e Irán al no asistir a la reunión considerarlo grupo terrorista y por tanto bombardearlos para expulsar del territorio Sirio hacia su nueva nación Turca, es donde deben ir.

Truth
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Truth

Thousands of foreign US/French/British/Israeli trained and armed mercenaries have crossed into Idleb from Turkey, into Daraa from Jordan and the Israeli occipied Golan Heights, Deir Ezzur from Iraq, into in the past month of the ceasefire. Many have gone to reinforce the last terror stronghold of Western Aleppo in preparation for a counter offensive to regain control over Aleppo, Damascus and Daraa. No wonder the Russian Airforce is pounding Western Aleppo, to prevent such an offensive rather then in preparation for a Syrian Army offensive. With these terrorists there is no negotiation because they are puppets of France, the US,… Read more »

Floriangeyer
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Floriangeyer

It is rather sad that citizens in the West elect cowardly but greedy politicians who use criminals and other scum to terrorise Syria and Iraq + Ukraine etc.

The West and their Salafist allies deserve the terror that is now creeping into Europe and the US. Criminals have no loyalty to those who arm and train them to murder.

Oğuz
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Oğuz

Syrian regime is still at war with opposition but not with Kurdish militia.. Regime uses this cheasefire as a passification of rebels. It cannot take so long..

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Stern Daler

The Sultan Murat brigade and Turkey broke the truce too. There is no truce with any allies of Qaeda – not even those supported by Turkey.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Bah, any way, if they end martyred, it’s not a problem : they’ll got to paradise and will have their 72 virgins!
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Who cares? Death is only tragic for Atheists. Killing an Atheists is a real crime, others have life after death 😀