Syria peace talks end in Geneva following Astana progress

"Let's start with direct negotiations", he said, also calling for the talks to focus on the creation of a transitional governing body in Syria. He called them "act of political terrorism".

"During this round of talks we discussed the format of upcoming meetings. exclusively", Ja'afari told reporters after about two hours of discussions.

The group's statement said five of its fighters took part in the attacks on security buildings in Homs' Ghouta and Mahatta neighborhoods, CNN says.

De Mistura has cautioned against an immediate breakthrough in a new round of UN-backed peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition representatives, the first in almost 10 months.

"What really happened today, we can call it liquidation by the regime of those who are wanted for global courts", he told reporters at a Geneva hotel. The group was formed earlier this year out of several jihadist factions, including Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known the Nusra Front, before it broke a formal alliance with al-Qaeda last year.

Al-Ja'afari described the attack as a bid by states sponsoring terrorism to derail the talks.

Attacks in Syria's third city of Homs, which left dozens dead on February 25, aimed to "spoil" peace talks under way in Geneva, the UN's envoy said. Ja'afari added that his delegation would study the details of an unspecified "paper" presented by the United Nations envoy ahead of their next meeting.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry urged the condemn the attacks.

US President Donald Trump's administration has said it is "re-looking at everything" about its involvement in Syria, and Turkey last month said last month it was no longer "realistic" to insist on a solution to the Syria conflict that excluded Assad. "On the top of these priorities is fighting terrorism".

In a statement, the United Nations envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged all parties not to allow these attempts to succeed. Pressure by the world community did not, however, forge an agreement between government and opposition during three previous rounds, prolonging a war that has slain at least 300,000, the majority of fatalities among combatants, and driven half of Syria's citizens from their homes.

Syrian media says multiple explosions have struck a security building in the central city of Homs, inflicting numerous casualties.

Homs is largely under regime control.

  • Leroy Wright