UN ‘ready to engage’ with Assad in Geneva talks; Daesh bomb kills 8 in Homs

Author: APTue, 2017-12-05 03:00ID: 1512494943835748000GENEVA: The UN envoy for Syria is “ready to engage” with President Bashar Assad’s representatives as peace talks are set to resume in Geneva, but they have not shown up yet.
UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said the eighth round of peace talks under special envoy Staffan de Mistura was set to restart Tuesday after a weekend break.
She said: “The delegation of the government has been invited back in Geneva as of today.”
Syria’s ambassador to Geneva, Hussam Edin Aala, told The Associated Press that Damascus was “studying” the invitation.
The head of Syria’s regime delegation has blasted the opposition for a communique in which it stated its ultimate goal was to remove Assad from power. Bashar Jaafari said on Friday his team was leaving Geneva for the weekend and that Syria would decide whether it would return to the talks.
Jaafari warned then that there could be no progress in the talks as long as the opposition insisted on what he described as a “provocative and irresponsible” position.
Meanwhile, Syrian state media and an opposition monitoring group said an explosion has ripped through a van near the central city of Homs, killing at least eight people.
Daesh claimed Tuesday’s attack in Akarma, a regime stronghold south of Homs.
Daesh said it targeted a bus carrying Syrian soldiers, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those killed were civilians, including six women.
Syrian state TV has aired images of the van’s charred body, as well as damaged vehicles nearby. State news agency SANA says eight people were killed and 18 wounded.
Separately, Syria’s state news agency said Syrian air defense has shot down three Israeli missiles that were targeting a military post near Damascus.
SANA said the attack occurred early on Tuesday but has not said whether there were casualties.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Staffan de MisturaUnited NationsSyriaGeneva talksrelated_nodes: Tillerson again insists Syrian leader Assad must goUN envoy questions US engagement on Syria

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