The Latest: Official Iranian agency says Syrians must decide

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2015 7:04 AM
The Latest: Official Iranian agency says Syrians must decide

VIENNA (AP) — The latest developments in talks on ending the Syrian War (all times local).


In Tehran, the official IRNA news agency said in a Friday commentary about the Vienna talks that Iran's policy on Syria was based on the Syrian people's role in making decisions about their own future.

"Iran's policy regarding Syrian crisis is based on three pillars: Respect for the legitimate rights of the Syrian nation to decide the fate and reform in the country as well as opposing foreign intervention and terrorism."

It said Iran had always sought a cease-fire in among Syrian groups while supporting the fight against (foreign) terrorist groups in Syria.

The commentary said Iran also tried to "provide a proper sphere for talks among all Syrian groups for deciding about the future of their country."


11:25 a.m.

A senior Russian diplomat has warned the United States against using its ground forces in Syria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday, according to Russian news agencies, that Moscow considers the use of U.S. forces without coordination with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government unacceptable.

Ryabkov's statement followed U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter saying earlier this week that the U.S. was retooling its strategy in Iraq and Syria and would conduct unilateral ground raids if needed to target Islamic State militants. The U.S. now has no U.S. troops in Syria.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in Syria since Sept. 30.


11:05 a.m.

Syrian opposition activists say a government missile barrage has killed more than 40 people and wounded dozens of others in a Damascus suburb.

Friday's attack on the opposition-held suburb of Douma came as an international conference aimed at ending the Syrian conflict was getting underway in Vienna, Austria.

The Local Coordination Committees activist group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say about 11 surface to surface missiles slammed in Douma, some of them hitting a market.

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Both organizations and a third Douma-based activist network are reporting the deaths.

The area is a frequent target of deadly government airstrikes and barrel bombs dropped from helicopters.


10:40 a.m.

Russia's deputy foreign minister says Russia and Saudi Arabia have exchanged lists of Syrian opposition groups who should be involved in political talks over the country's civil war.

Mikhail Bogdanov spoke Friday to Russian reporters in Vienna, where world leaders are convening for talks aimed at ending the Syrian conflict.

He said Russia had given to its partners a day earlier a list with the names of "nearly all opposition groups that we talk to, that we're willing to talk to and who could be invited at the Syria talks." He said the list has 38 names on it "but can be expanded."

Bogdanov added that the Saudis gave them a similar list and the Americans have promised to do the same.