Syria conference moved to Montreaux while regime continues air raids on Aleppo for third straight day
The tentative Geneva II peace conference to end the conflict in Syria will now take place in the Swiss town of Montreaux due to hotel space shortages in Geneva, according to Agence France-Presse Tuesday.
"The international conference on Syria... will be held due to logistical reasons... in Montreux," said Khawal Mattar, a spokesperson for UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, one of the main organizers of the conference.
The talks are scheduled to take place on Jan. 22, after being postponed for nearly six months due to disagreements and tensions between regime and opposition forces. However, the January date conflicts with Geneva's luxury watch fair expo, which has forced the UN to move the peace conference to Montreaux for space reasons accordingly.
Montreaux was determined to be a suitable backup for the conference due to security, hotel space and related logistical factors. It is not yet clear, however, how long the talks will continue after the Jan. 22 date.
In related news on Syria Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Syrian regime forces continued air raids on Aleppo's rebel-held neighborhoods for a third straight day, leaving at least 13 people dead.
Aleppo's Shaar district was targeted in particular on Tuesday morning, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
On the first day of air raids, at least 76 people, including 28 children were killed. Monday's attacks left a similar death toll, with at least 150 killed nationwide from regime strikes both in Aleppo as well as clashes in Homs and Damascus.
The regime's air raids Tuesday came only hours after UN's Secretary General demanded a cease-fire to be observed ahead of proposed Geneva II talks that aim to solve the Syrian crisis.