Syrian opposition's Moscow Group to take part in Geneva talks

In southern Syria, an extremist group linked to the Islamic State group took advantage of rebel fighting with government forces in Daraa province and launched an offensive Monday, capturing several areas from more moderate factions, opposition activists said.

"We are fully committed for the Geneva talks", Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah told delegates at the Munich Security Conference.

ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formally known as Jabhat Al Nursa, are listed by the United Nations as terrorist groups and were not included in the ceasefire.

On Thursday, another round of the UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks is expected to start in the Swiss city.

"What I do know, (is) that we have to push for the momentum".

The rebel groups, mostly backed by Turkey, who attended two rounds of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana said they had supported a political solution to end the bloodshed, but that war had been "imposed" on them by the Syrian army and its allies.

Mistura stressed that what was ultimately key was an inclusive political solution to end the six-year conflict. ".And that's the challenge we are going to face in the next few weeks".

Speaking at a panel discussion at the ongoing Munich Security Conference on Sunday, the special USA presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter Daesh also acknowledged the shortcomings of the previous US administration in deescalating violence and brokering a truce in the region over the last couple of years.

"Where is the U.S. in all this?" he asked.

He did not specify which countries he was referring to, though Iran, Turkey and Russian Federation are all playing major roles in the conflict.

Under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, Washington insisted President Bashar al-Assad had to go, putting it at odds with Moscow which backs the Syrian leader.

Trump has called for safe zones within Syria for refugees fleeing violence as a way to stem and even reverse the migration of Syrians to Europe and elsewhere.

  • Leroy Wright