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Homs attacks aim to spoil Syria peace talks: UN envoy



The UN special envoy for Syria has warned that the latest deadly attacks in Homs are aimed at sabotaging the ongoing Geneva peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.

“Every time we are having talks or negotiations there is always someone who tries to spoil. We were expecting that,” Staffan de Mistura said on Saturday.

On Saturday, simultaneous bombings targeted separate areas across the western city of Homs, which is largely under government control, claiming the lives of 42 people.

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The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said described the attacks as double bombings hitting “the headquarters of state security and military intelligence in two central districts.”

Syria’s United Nations (UN) Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari (2nd L) attends a meeting on the second day of a new round of Syria peace talks on February 24, 2017 in Geneva (Photo by AFP).

The Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, claimed responsibility for the Saturday attacks.

Syria vows retaliation

Meanwhile, Syria’s ambassador to the UN has underscored Damascus’ resolve to “retaliate” against the sponsors of terrorists following the Saturday deadly attacks in Homs.

“The terrorist attacks that targeted Homs today were a clear message from the sponsors of terrorism to Geneva,” Bashar al-Ja’afari told reporters at the UN office in Geneva on Saturday.

“We want to tell them that this message has been received … and we will not allow for it to pass without retaliation,” he added.

The attacks came as the Syrian government and opposition delegates are meeting in Geneva in UN -mediated talks to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. The talks resumed for the third day on Saturday.

The UN-brokered talks come shortly after the conclusion of the second round of the Syria peace negotiations, facilitated by Russia, Turkey and Iran, in the Kazakh capital of Astana on February 15 and 16. The negotiations, which were held in a closed-door setting, sought to pave the way for the negotiations in Geneva.

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