Russia on Wednesday turned down a proposal by Syrian opposition factions for a cease-fire in Homs province’s northern countryside.
The proposal, which was made at a Tuesday meeting between opposition representatives and Russian officials in Homs, reportedly called for a cease-fire and the reopening of the region’s main thoroughfares.
If accepted, the deal would allow opposition factions to retain their positions in the area without surrendering their arms, well-informed sources told Anadolu Agency.
Moscow, however, rejected the offer, insisting that Syrian regime forces be given “total control” of the region and that opposition fighters surrender all heavy weapons in return for being granted safe exit from the area, according to the sources.
The same sources went on to note that Russian negotiators had given opposition fighters until noon Wednesday to respond to their terms, the same sources said.
The opposition groups involved, however, have soundly rejected the Russian counterproposal, the sources added.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a vicious conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.