Islamic State fighters captured territory from Syrian rebels near the Turkish border on Friday and inched closer to a town on a supply route for foreign-backed insurgents fighting the jihadists, a monitoring group said.
Major power foreign ministers failed to agree a new date to resume Syrian peace talks at a meeting on Tuesday, and the opposition said it would not come back to Geneva negotiations unless conditions improved on the ground.
The chance of unintentional confrontation between foreign powers involved in Syria has risen as its five-year-old conflict turns into a proxy war influenced by increasingly engaged outside powers, a European think-tank said on Wednesday.
Syrians voted in a parliamentary election in government-held areas of the country on Wednesday in what they called a show of support for President Bashar al-Assad, while his opponents and Western powers denounced the poll as illegitimate.
The Syrian opposition said it rejected any attempt by the government to delay the next round of peace talks until after a parliamentary election on April 13 and urged Russia to press its ally into serious talks on a political transition.
President Vladimir Putin announced out of the blue on Monday that "the main part" of Russian armed forces in Syria would start to withdraw, telling his diplomats to step up the push for peace as UN-mediated talks resumed on ending the
Syria peace talks due to begin in Geneva this week look set to struggle, with the sides showing no sign of compromise over the issue at the heart of the five-year-long conflict: the future of President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria's government on Saturday ruled out any discussion of the fate of the presidency at peace talks this week, just as the lead opposition negotiator said a political transition could not even start unless Bashar al-Assad was no longer pres
Syria's main opposition group said it would attend peace talks on Monday but accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of preparing to escalate the war to strengthen its negotiating position.
The U.N.-brokered talks,
A total of 135 people were killed in the first week of a partial truce in Syria in areas covered by the deal, a monitoring group, highlighting its fragile nature just days before the United Nations attempts to reconvene peace talks.