• Syria's Alkhatib says ready to talk to Assad's deputy

    BEIRUT, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib said on Monday he would accept negotiations with Bashar al-Assad's deputy but said talks must be based on the principle of the regime's departure.

    Alkhatib, who was speaking after meeting Iranian, Russian and U.S. officials in Germany, told al-Arabiya news channel that he had asked Iran to deliver his negotiations offer to Assad's government.

    (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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Russia escalating Syria war by targeting moderate opposition: U.S.

MADRID - Russia is escalating Syria's civil war by targeting the moderate opposition, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday, comparing Moscow's effort to bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to tethering itself to a sinking ship.