Participants attend a conference held by the Democratic Forces of Syria in the city of Derek, in Qamishli, Syria December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Representatives from Syria's fragmented opposition began an unprecedented meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia Wednesday, seeking a united front for potential talks with President Bashar Assad's regime.While not all groups were invited, the two-day, closed-door gathering marks the first time a broad range of Syrian political and armed opposition factions have come together since the conflict began in 2011 . Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef met representatives of the armed groups taking part in the talks Tuesday and told them the kingdom insists on Assad's departure, Syrian opposition sources said.Armed entities described as "terrorist" organisations, such as Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front and ISIS, were not invited to the Riyadh meeting.Kurdish organisations, including the recently formed and U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes Kurds, Arab Sunni Muslims and Christians fighting ISIS, were not invited.
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