U.N. launches Syria peace talks despite opposition boycott

January 29, 2016 2:58 PM

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U.N. launches Syria peace talks despite opposition boycott

GENEVA/BEIRUT The first Syria peace talks for two years were a "complete failure" before they started on Friday, a Western diplomat said, after the United Nations announced it would press ahead with them despite an opposition boycott.

Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad said they were far more concerned with fending off a Russian-backed military onslaught, with civilians reported to be fleeing as the Syrian army and allied militia tried to capture a suburb of Damascus and finish off rebels defending it.

Also read: Aleppo siege: Syria rebels lose 50% of territory

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