Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Syria Rebels Vow to Keep Fighting if Talks Fail

Syria Rebels Vow to Keep  Fighting if Talks Fail

ATANA - Syrian rebels vowed Monday to keep fighting if the peace talks fail with the war-torn country's government in Kazakhstan, as the two sides opened indirect negotiations.
The talks had been billed as the first time armed rebel groups would negotiate directly with President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the conflict erupted in 2011.
"If the negotiations succeed, then we are with the negotiations," rebel spokesman Osama Abu Zeid told AFP. "If they don't succeed, unfortunately we'll have no choice but to continue fighting."
The rebels' announcement came as Russia's defence ministry said its warplanes had bombed the Islamic State group in the area around Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, where regime forces have been fighting the jihadists.
Rebel spokesman Yehya al-Aridi told AFP the opposition backed out of the first round of direct talks in Astana because of the regime's continued bombardment and attacks on a flashpoint area near Damascus.
A session of indirect negotiations began after 1200 GMT following a short break in the talks.
A Turkish official told journalists that "it is necessary to focus on reinforcing the ceasefire" agreed last month, hoping that "confidence building steps that could be obtained from Astana talks will contribute to the political process in Geneva." (AFP)