07:26 GMT17 February 2020
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    Mohammed Alloush, the leader of Jaysh al-Islam Islamist group and the chief negotiator of the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) backed by Riyadh, is responsible for a 2015 shelling of the Russian Embassy in Damascus, a member of the delegation of Syria’s opposition formed after talks at the Hmeymim airbase said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Embassy in Damascus was subject to mortar fire several times in 2015. Moscow considers the shellings to be terrorist acts.

    "He, along with his late brother Zahran Alloush, is directly responsible for the shelling of the Russian Embassy in Damascus," Nedal Naisseh told RIA Novosti.

    The presence of Mohammed Alloush has been one of the major sticking points in the indirect talks between the opposition and the government. Head of the Syrian government delegation Bashar Jaafari said during the March round of the talks, referring to Alloush, that he would not engage in any discussions with the opposition as long as it includes people calling to kill President Bashar Assad.

    The Jaysh al-Islam took responsibility for last week's shelling of Kurdish-controlled Sheikh Maqsoud district of the Syrian city of Aleppo, which injured several people, and stated that it had deployed "forbidden" weapons. The shelling reportedly included the usage of poisonous gas.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Alloush arrived in Geneva to join the new round of Syrian peace talks.

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    Tags:
    shelling, Intra-Syria talks, Jaysh al-Islam, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Geneva, Syria
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