12 4. 2016 – MESOP – The Assad regime will hold parliamentary elections beginning tomorrow, ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Opposition groups have dismissed the elections as illegitimate. “I don’t know how they can really announce an election in Syria. In Idlib or in Aleppo or in Deir al-Zor or in Homs, can people go there and vote?” an opposition spokesman said. Over the weekend, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki said the regime is preparing an offensive to retake rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, a move that would collapse the partial ceasefire.