Middle East

Reports of air raids near Damascus as truce talks crumble

Syrian children walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the Syrian capital Damascus on November 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ABD DOUMANY

BEIRUT: Anti-government groups are reporting Syrian government airstrikes on a suburb of the capital Damascus after talks for a two-week truce between the government and rebels collapsed.

The Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the airstrikes struck Douma Thursday.

The airstrikes came after the Observatory said talks for the truce collapsed between the opposition and representatives of President Bashar Assad's government after rebels refused to release prisoners. Opposition activist Hadi Abdullah wrote on Twitter: "The Assad regime killed the truce before it was born."

The ceasefire talks came days after a meeting in Vienna involving nearly 20 foreign ministers who set a Jan. 1 deadline to start negotiations aimed at achieving a transitional government.





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