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UN envoy urges US, Russia to salvage "barely alive" Syrian truce

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UN envoy urges US, Russia to salvage "barely alive" Syrian truce



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The United Nations mediator for Syria on Thursday (April 28) urged the United States and Russia to save a two-month-old truce in the country from fully collapsing.

U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said the Syrian ceasefire agreed in February was “barely alive.”

Over the past two days alone, the Syrian conflict has killed on average one civilian every 25 minutes, he told a news conference in Geneva.

De Mistura spoke to reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council about the foundering indirect peace talks between the Western- and Saudi-backed opposition and envoys from President Bashar Assad’s government, which has the support of Moscow.

He said the recent spike in fighting in Syria’s north had overshadowed the talks and put the truce in “great danger.”

The main Syrian opposition delegation, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), pulled out of the talks last week in protest over alleged government ceasefire violations and slow aid deliveries.

“How can you have substantial talks when you have only news about bombing and shelling? It’s something that even I find it difficult, can you imagine the Syrians?” de Mistura said.

“Hence my appeal for a U.S.-Russian urgent initiative, at the highest level, because the legacy of both President Obama and President Putin is linked to the success of what has been a unique initiative which started very well and needs to end very well.”

Video uploaded on social media on Wednesday (April 27) purported to show the aftermath of a barrel bomb attack on the outskirts of Aleppo, in the north of Syria.

Since last weekend, more than 100 people have died in the city, as fighting rages between rebels and government forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


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