GEOPOLITICA DEL MONDO MODERNO

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talksinGeneva

Fierce clashes persist in Syria ahead of renewed peace talks.

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Jihadists and other rebel groups made advances against the Syrian army north of Hama on Thursday, a war monitor said, part of their biggest offensive for months, underscoring the bleak prospects for peace talks which resume later in the day. The assault coincides with clashes in the capital Damascus, where rebels and the army are fighting on the edge of the city center in the Jobar district for a fifth day amid heavy bombardment, state media and the war monitor reported. Increased fighting, despite a ceasefire brokered in December by Russia and Turkey, casts further doubt on peacemaking efforts in Geneva, where talks resume on Thursday after making no progress towards peace in recent rounds. “We hope to see some serious partner on the other side of the table”, Salem al-Muslet, spokesman for the opposition’s High Negotiating Committee (HNC), said in Geneva.

 

New round of Syria talks set for March 23, UN Envoy says

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UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called for holding new round of UN-backed intra-Syrian talks in Geneva on March 23. “Talks will be indirect and will focus on governance, constitutional process, elections and counter-terrorism and there may also be discussions on reconstruction”, De Mistura added. The UN Envoy pointed out that he briefed the UN Security Council, in a closed door meeting, on the outcomes of the fourth round of the intra-Syrian dialogue, recently held in Geneva, calling on the participants in Astana and the sponsoring sides to enhance the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

 

Both sides in Aleppo committed war crimes

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Both sides in the battle for Aleppo committed war crimes, including Syrian government aircraft that “deliberately” bombed and strafed a humanitarian convoy, killing 14 aid workers and halting relief operations, U.N. investigators said on Wednesday. But investigators could not say whether both Syrian and Russian forces had used them in Aleppo or only one had. They also did not attribute any specific war crime investigated to Russian forces. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry’s report – released as Syrian peace talks continue in Geneva – covers the July-December period and is based on 291 interviews with victims and witnesses, as well as analysis of forensic evidence and satellite imagery. Opposition groups shelled government-controlled western Aleppo, killing and injuring dozens, the report said. They prevented civilians from fleeing eastern Aleppo, using them as “human shields”, and attacked the residential Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud, both war crimes. The U.S.-led coalition did not conduct any offensive air missions over Aleppo in the second half of the year, they said.

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