U.N. peace envoy visits Syria as ceasefire plan struggles | Reuters - Firstpost
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U.N. peace envoy visits Syria as ceasefire plan struggles | Reuters

Updated: Feb 16, 2016 01:01 IST

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DAMASCUS United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura made a surprise visit to Damascus on Monday, a Reuters witness said, as world powers push for a ceasefire in the Syrian conflict.

The witness saw de Mistura on arrival in Damascus. Reuters could not confirm any further details of the visit.

De Mistura suspended Geneva peace talks on the Syrian conflict last week after only three days, but hopes to bring parties back to the negotiating table by Feb. 25.

Meeting in Munich, world powers agreed on Friday to a cessation of hostilities that would let humanitarian aid be delivered in Syria.

It was scheduled to start a week later, but Syrian army offensives across the country, backed by Russian air strikes, continue unabated.

A recent push by Kurdish-backed forces to take territory between Aleppo and the Turkish border from Islamist and other rebel groups is further complicating the conflict.

Turkey, which regards the Kurdish YPG militia as terrorists, is now shelling Kurdish positions in Syria.

(Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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