Russia meets with Syria opposition as civilians flee bombs
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 01:44
Feb. 4 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with a Syrian opposition leader in Moscow, as activists say civilians in Aleppo and Homs come under bombing. Mana Rabiee reports.
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This amateur video purports to be Tuesday in Aleppo, Syria's second largest city.
It's said to be the aftermath of government barrel bombs on a residential area controlled by rebels, but it's video Reuters can't independently confirm.
Residents pull bodies out of the rubble.
Others can only watch.
A world away in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with the leader of the Syrian opposition National Coalition.
Russia's a major backer of Syria and Lavrov's long been trying to get Ahmed Jarba to come to Moscow for talks.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING:
"We value the possibility of our dialogue and we are interested in maintaining regular contacts with the leadership of the Syrian National Coalition."
Russia also said Syria will ship more of its chemical arsenal abroad for destruction, soon.
Something Damascus was accused of dragging its feet over.
At a press conference, Jarba said the opposition acknowledges Moscow plays a major role in securing any political solution to Syria's crisis.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN OPPOSITION LEADER AHMED JARBA, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION):
"The Russian side now understands the position of our coalition better…I think that now we are entering a new stage of our relations with Russia."
Meanwhile, more video purports to show shelling over the besieged Syrian city of Homs.
A new round of peace talks are set to begin next week.
Russia made assurances on Tuesday the Syrian government will show up for those talks.
They're aimed at ending a three-year-long conflict that's killed well over a hundred thousand people.
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