No talks unless humanitarian conditions met

BEIRUT: Rebel groups in Syria say they are rejecting peace talks in Geneva later this month unless humanitarian conditions mentioned in a U.N. resolution are fulfilled.

In a statement Wednesday, the Free Syrian Army and 33 other factions and rebel groups — including the powerful Army of Islam — say the humanitarian clauses specified in the resolution must be met.

Unless this happens, the statement says: “We reject going ahead with any negotiations.”

The U.N. has been urging the belligerents in Syria’s five-year-conflict to the negotiating table on Jan. 25 in an effort to find a resolution to a civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.