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Syrian rebels say government, Iran seek to wreck Russian shift to "neutrality"
January 22, 2017 / 1:38 PM / 8 months ago

Syrian rebels say government, Iran seek to wreck Russian shift to "neutrality"

AMMAN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Syrian government and Iran are trying to wreck an attempt by Russia to move to a position of “neutrality” from being a combatant alongside President Bashar al Assad’s forces, the head of the Syrian rebel delegation at peace talks told Reuters.

Mohammad Alloush said on Sunday the failure of Moscow to put pressure on Iran and the Syrian government to end what the opposition says are widespread violations of a Turkish-Russian brokered ceasefire would be a blow to its influence in Syria.

“It’s a real test of the power of Russia and its influence over the regime and Iran as a guarantor of the deal, so if it fails in this role there will follow bigger failures,” Alloush said in the Kazakh capital, where talks are due on Monday.

The Syrian opposition says the government and Iranian-backed militias are continuing military offensives in several areas in Syria, including in Wadi Barada near the capital, regardless of the ceasefire. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Mark Potter)

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