TIME Syria

Syria Peace Talks Threatened as Regime Launches ‘Unprecedented’ Assault

Russian air-strikes hit residential areas in Aleppo
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images People are seen inside debris after a Russian forces staged air-strike over residential areas in Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, on Jan. 21, 2016

Rebels say the Geneva talks won't succeed unless troops loyal to President Bashar Assad call off their assaults

Russia has launched hundreds of bombing raids in Syria since Monday, aiding President Bashar Assad’s forces as they conduct a major military offensive that could destabilize fragile peace talks.

A monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, has said at least 18 civilians were killed in Syria’s Aleppo province on Tuesday in strikes of “unprecedented” intensity, reports Agence France-Presse.

“We have never seen things like this since the beginning of the revolution,” said Basma Kodmani, spokesperson for Syria’s main opposition group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

The HNC, which is attending U.N.-brokered peace talks in Switzerland, said Russia’s 270 bombing sorties so far this week have helped bring Assad’s army closer to cutting off rebel supply lines in Aleppo province.

U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura has said that the dialogue may be the final chance for a political solution to the brutal five-year conflict.

However the HNC said talks, which began on Monday in Geneva, would not succeed unless troops loyal to Assad call off their assaults, including those backed by Russia. The rebels also demand that critical humanitarian aid be allowed access to besieged towns, including Madaya, where civilians are dying of malnutrition.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team