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SYRIA OPPOSITION SEEKS TO UNIFY AS TALKS GET MOMENTUM TO END WAR

Muslim World

Syria’s fractious opposition scrambled to agree a new leadership on 24 May in a bid to present a coherent front at peace talks which the United States and Russia are convening to seek an end to more than two years of civil war. A major assault by President Bashar Assad’s forces on a rebel held town over the past week is shaping into a pivotal battle. It has drawn in fighters from Assad’s Lebanese allies Hezbollah, justifying worry that a war that has killed 80,000 people would cross borders at the heart of the Middle East.

Washington and Moscow have been compelled to revive diplomacy by developments in recent months, which include new reports of atrocities, accusations of chemical weapons were used and the rise of Al-Qaeda-linked fighters among rebels. Russia said the Syrian government had agreed in principle to attend the planned peace conference, which could take part in Geneva in the coming weeks, and had “expressed readiness” to find a political solution.



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