In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens carry the coffins wrapped by Syrian flags for the victims who were killed Thursday by a car bomb, during their funeral processions, at al-Kaffat village in the central Hama province, Syria, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Rebel-on-rebel fighting between an al-Qaida-linked group and an array of more moderate and ultraconservative Islamists has killed nearly 500 people over the past week in northern Syria, an activist group said Friday, in the most serious bout of violence among opponents of President Bashar Assad since the civil war began. (AP Photo/SANA)The Associated Press
PARIS – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top envoys from 10 other countries are raising the pressure on Syria's main opposition group to attend peace talks that would bring it face-to-face with the Syrian government.
The two-day meeting begins Sunday in Paris, just a week before the scheduled talks in Geneva.
The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition is nearing collapse, hampered by infighting, international pressure and disagreement over whether to negotiate with Syria's president, Bashar Assad.
The moderate rebels find themselves battling on two fronts — against al-Qaida linked militants on one side and Assad's forces on another. But despite low expectations for the Geneva peace conference, diplomats say it is the only chance of ending fighting that has killed more than 130,000 people.