Syrian opposition agrees to 2-3 week truce if Russia stops air strikes - source

By REUTERS
February 20, 2016 14:41

 
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GENEVA - Syria's opposition has agreed to a two- to three-week truce on condition that Russia stops its air strikes, sieges are ended and access for aid allowed across the country, a source close to peace talks said on Saturday.

Russian air strikes began last September and turned the tide in Syria's five-year civil war in Bashar al-Assad's favor, to the frustration of the United States and its allies who have supported rebels trying to topple the president.

Several attempts to agree a truce have failed in recent months.

"The message has been conveyed very clearly now that the opposition is willing to enter into a two- to three-week truce, and that's open to renewal if the conditions are right and both sides are willing to renew it," the source said.

The opposition also wants vulnerable prisoners, including women and children, to be released, the source said.

Russia and the US are jointly chairing a United Nations meeting in Geneva aimed at trying to secure a cessation of hostilities in Syria.

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