A girl waves an opposition flag during an anti-government protest inside a 2nd century Roman amphitheater in the historic Syrian southern town of Bosra al-Sham, in Deraa, Syria March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir
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Syria's opposition Monday agreed to attend a new round of U.N.-sponsored peace talks set for this week in Geneva after a landmark ceasefire led to a dramatic drop in fighting.The truce between President Bashar Assad's regime and non-extremist rebels, brokered by Russia and the United States, has defied expectations and led to the first significant decline in violence in Syria's nearly five-year civil war. The ceasefire is part of the biggest diplomatic effort yet to resolve Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 270,000 and forced millions of people from their homes.Russia and the United States are on opposing sides of the conflict – Moscow backs Assad and Washington supports the opposition – but the two powers have made a concerted push for the truce and further peace efforts to succeed. Observatory chief Rami Abdel-Rahman told AFP that the average number of civilian deaths a day had fallen by 90 percent since the truce came into force, with an 80 percent decline among soldiers and rebel forces.A source close to the Syrian government delegation Monday said it has been invited to a new round of peace talks with the opposition in Geneva from March 14 .
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