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The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has held Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar responsible for the escalated fighting between government forces and foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

The ministry, in two separate letters addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and rotating President of the United Nations Security Council Matthew Rycroft, called on the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and combat terrorism and criminal acts being perpetrated by al-Nusra Front and other terror groups.

The two identical letters also read that such attacks are simply aimed at undermining the UN-sponsored Syria peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Earlier on Thursday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that government troops had killed more than 157 terrorists, among them foreign nationals, and wounded hundreds of others during the ongoing fighting in the eastern Damascus district of Jobar.

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Syrian army soldiers also destroyed three explosive-laden vehicles, three tanks, four armored vehicles, five mortar launchers, three cannons and 15 machine gun-equipped vehicles. They killed seven bombers before targeting military posts in Jobar.

Militant shelling kills 5 kids in Syria’s Aleppo

Meanwhile, five children lost their lives and four others sustained injuries in a rocket attack by Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo.

Local sources said the projectiles slammed into Abdul-Qadir Ba’ath School in the city’s al-Hamdaniya neighborhood.

Syrian Red Crescent personnel evacuate the body of a man following a mortar strike by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in a government-held part of the western city of Homs on February 10, 2017.

Geneva peace talks

The developments came as the fifth round of Syria talks kicked off in Geneva. The deputy UN special envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, separately met representatives from the Damascus government and the main opposition delegation, the High Negotiations Committee.

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Ramzy said he held preliminary talks with each side on Thursday, and hoped to begin “substantive discussions tomorrow.”

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura will join Geneva peace talks on Friday.

De Mistura is trying to mediate a political agreement between Syria’s warring sides. The two sides have not had face-to-face meetings in four previous rounds under his auspices since early 2016. He has presided over all those rounds.

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