The truce reached on Dec. 30 has reduced overall violence in Syria but fighting continues on multiple fronts. AFP / LOUAI BESHARA
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Syrian rebel delegates met in Kazakhstan Sunday on the eve of their first talks with the government in a year in which the two sides hope to consolidate a cease-fire reached last month and deliver humanitarian aid. The talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, are sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey, and are the latest attempt to forge a political settlement to end the war.The U.N.'s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is participating in the talks, which are to be followed by more political talks in February in Geneva. The opposition delegation, which arrived in Astana Sunday, is made up of about a dozen rebel figures led by Mohammad Alloush, of the powerful Army of Islam rebel group. The Syrian government is sending its U.N. Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari and military delegates.
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