Western envoys raise pressure on Syrian opposition to attend peace talks while regime shells kill 20 in Homs
At least 130,000 people have died in Syria three-year war, but the UN has stopped tracking the death toll due to limited access to accurate data (Fadi Dirani/AFP)
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United States Secretary State John Kerry along with ten other Western nation envoys reportedly have "raised the pressure" on one of Syria's main opposition groups to attend Swiss peace talks, according to the Associated Press.
The envoys have been meeting with Syria's Western-backed Syrian opposition National Coalition since Sunday in Paris ahead of the Jan. 22 peace talks in Montreaux to urge the group to attend the talks, but infighting among rebel groups and rebels' indecision about whether or not to even negotiate with the Syrian regime in Montreaux in the first place has weakened all opposition groups immensely.
Though expectations for the peace conference are quite low, many of the envoys are describing the scheduled talks as the "only chance" to end the country's conflict.
As talks continued in Paris Sunday, The Associated Press also reported that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's regime shelled the central city of Homs, killing 20.
Many others were critically wounded, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes the severity of some of the injuries may increase the death toll over the upcoming days.
Homs' rebel-held neighborhood Waer was the alleged target of the shelling attack conducted Saturday.
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