WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – Assad Regime to Participate in Talks, Russia Says

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the Assad regime will participate in proximity talks with the Syrian opposition next week in Geneva. “They said straight away that they are taking part, they’re ready, they will be the first to arrive, wherever is needed,” Russian spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Friday. U.S. Secretary of State is traveling today — over the weekend, he will visit Saudi Arabia and France to discuss diplomatic prospects in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. A coalition of 30 Syrian and international non-governmental organizations have issued a report that states that the fifth year of Syria’s civil war was the “worst yet for people as warring parties have continued to wreak havoc, increasingly blocked aid and placed more communities under siege.”

The coalition, mostly humanitarian organizations, calls on Russia, the United States, Britain, and France to safeguard the current ceasefire, which they call “a glimmer of hope.”