(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Syrian rebel groups called for the postponement of Russian-backed peace talks in Kazakhstan this month and said further meetings would depend on whether the government and its allies adhered to a newly declared March 7-20 ceasefire.
The third round of talks is due to take place in Astana on March 14-15. The previous meetings aimed to shore up a widely violated ceasefire between the sides that was brokered in December by Russia and Turkey, which backs the rebels.
Russia backs Syrian President Bashar Assad in the conflict, and launched recent diplomatic efforts after its air force helped the Syrian government to defeat rebels in Aleppo in December - Assad's biggest victory of the war.