Syria rebel group slams Geneva talks, opposition body

April 17, 2016 06:26

BEIRUT - A Syrian rebel group on Saturday said United Nations-led peace talks had so far been extremely negative and criticized opposition negotiators as divorced from a deteriorating military situation on the ground.

The statement from Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist group and one of the biggest rebel factions involved in the conflict, indicates the pressure facing the opposition High Negotiations Committee as it takes part in a second round of indirect talks with the government in Geneva.

The talks appear to be making no progress toward ending the five-year-long war that has killed more than 250,000 people, while a military escalation has stretched to breaking point a truce agreement brokered by the United States and Russia.

"There is a clear division between the work of the (HNC) and the reality on the ground, for while Russia realizes field gains for the benefit of the regime, giving it political momentum, and while the regime and Iran breach the truce ... we see insistence from the (HNC) on pursuing the negotiations," it said.

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