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Damascus Allows Aid Into Opposition-Held Suburb, But Geneva Talks Falter


The Syrian government on February 2 allowed aid into an opposition-held area near Damascus in what appeared to be a goodwill gesture after indirect peace talks mediated by the United Nations in Geneva got off to a shaky start.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered 14 trucks of aid to the al-Tal suburb. The delivery included food and hygiene kits for 3,500 families along with 25 metric tons of bulk food.

Syrian opposition delegates at the Geneva talks have demanded that aid be allowed into 18 besieged areas of Syria.

But as UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has been shuttling between government and opposition delegations in Geneva since the indirect talks began on February 1, Syrian government forces have captured three villages north of Aleppo from opposition fighters.

The government offensive, backed by Russian air strikes, has infuriated opposition representatives in Geneva and thrown the future of the talks into question.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP