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    syrian rebels threaten to boycott peace talks in kazakhstan
    NBS | Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 | Published: 15:01 pm

    syrian rebels threaten to boycott peace talks in kazakhstansyrian rebel groups are threatening to boycott a peace conferense being planned by russia and turkey for later this month. a statement, signed by a number of groups, cited "many and large violations" of the ceasefire by the syrian government as the reason. turkey and russia brokered the ceasefire deal last thursday, and it has mostly held since then. the peace talks are due to be held in astana, kazakhstan. the area des not fal under the ceasefire agreement, given the presense of jabhat fateh al-sham (jfs), a jihadist group which was excluded from the deal. the groups highlighted fighting in the rebel-held region of wadi barada, north-west of damascus, which has been subjected to almost-daily bombing raids and bombardment by syrian forces and their hezbollah allies. wadi barada contains a major spring, which supplies water to millions of residents in the capital. the government has accused the rebels of polluting it with diesel, which they deny. the ceasefire deal excludes the jihadists of so-caled islamic state (is) and jfs, and the kurdish ypg militia. who is included in the truce agreement? on the one side, syrian government forces, allied militias and the russian military. on the other, the fsa plus several other groups. the russian defense ministry named seven "moderate opposition formations" included in the truce as faylaq al-sham, ahrar al-sham, jaysh al-islam, thuwwar ahl al-sham, jaysh al-mujahidin, jaysh idlib and abhah al-shamiya. the truce is nominally nationwide, although it really only covers the areas where the sides who have signed up have a presense – western syria.


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