A man carries an injured woman in a site hit by what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Russian airstrikes reportedly killed dozens of people in a rebel-held town in Syria on Saturday as a U.N. envoy visited Damascus to advance preparations for peace talks planned this month despite opposition misgivings.Aid will be sent simultaneously to two villages blockaded by rebels.The air raids on a Nusra Front building prison near a popular market in northwestern Idlib province killed 21 civilians, 29 militants and seven detainees.The Syrian government told U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura on Saturday it was ready to participate but wants to know who would take part from the opposition, Syrian state media reported.Syrian rebels and opposition politicians have expressed doubts over whether the peace talks will begin as planned. Their concerns over the diplomatic bid include the absence of any mention of Assad's fate. Earlier this week, they told de Mistura that before negotiations the Syrian government must stop bombing civilian areas, release detainees and lift blockades imposed on opposition-held areas.
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