Syria government demands condemnation of attack on Homs
The Syrian government’s chief negotiator, Bashar Jaafari, demanded on February 25 that opposition representatives at peace talks in Geneva condemn a suicide attack on security forces in Homs which left dozens dead, saying that otherwise Damascus would consider them terrorists.
“Today, the test is that we expect that the [opposition] platforms [in Geneva] condemn this terrorist attack,” Jaafari told reporters after a meeting with UN mediator Staffan de Mistura.
“If anyone refuses to condemn this terrorist attack then he is an accomplice of terrorism and we will deal with them accordingly.”
Jaafari added that talks with de Mistura had focused solely on combating terrorism.
De Mistura said before the meeting that the attack aimed to “spoil” the peace peace talks.
Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, known before as the Al-Nusra Front, claimed the attacks which targeted and killed General Hassan Daabul, a close associate of President Bashar al-Assad.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 people were killed, but provincial Governor Talal Barazi put the toll at 32 people dead and 24 wounded.
De Mistura was preparing more separate meetings with Syrian government and opposition negotiators.
At the last such UN-sponsored talks the two sides did not meet for face-to-face negotiations, with de Mistura shuttling between them as a mediator.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP.
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