Syrian rebels suspend talks with Government over ceasefire violations

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Syrian rebel groups say they are suspending talks ahead of planned peace negotiations later this month because of what they describe as continuing government violations of a four-day old ceasefire deal.

The agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey is to be followed by negotiations between mainstream rebel factions and government representatives in the Kazakh capital Astana.

But 10 rebel factions have said they are suspending any talks related to the Astana negotiations or any discussions related to the ceasefire “until it is fully implemented”.

They include the powerful Army of Islam group which operates mainly outside the Syrian capital Damascus.

Opposition factions are angered in particular about a military offensive in the water-rich Barada Valley, north west of Damascus.

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