Syrian pro-government members hold a position as they stand on the back of an armoured vehicle in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, on October 31, 2017, during an operation against ISIS. AFP / STRINGER
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Syria's opposition rejected a Russian-sponsored initiative to reach a political settlement to the civil war, as Turkey protested against moves to involve Kurdish groups, in an early setback to the peacemaking bid. The head of Syria's main Kurdish political party, meanwhile, indicated his group favors attending the peace congress later this month, the first time the Kurds would participate in a major diplomatic push to end the war.Syria's government has said it is ready to attend the Nov. 18 Sochi congress which is set to focus on a new constitution, saying the time is right thanks to Syrian army gains and the "terrorists' obliteration".A Russian negotiator said Tuesday that Syrian groups who boycott the congress risked being sidelined as the political process moves ahead.Russia has invited 33 Syrian groups and political parties, including the Kurds, to what it calls a "Syrian Congress on National Dialogue".
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