Europe

The Latest: Syrian envoy says talks won't restart next week

The Latest on the civil war in Syria (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

U.N. special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura says peace talks won't resume in Geneva on Feb. 25 as he had previously hoped.

De Mistura told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that he cannot "realistically" get the parties in the Syrian conflict back to the table by then, "but we intend to do so soon."

De Mistura halted the latest talks on Feb. 5 because of major differences between the two sides, exacerbated by increased aerial bombings and military action on the ground.

In an interview published late Thursday on Svenska Dagbladet's website, he said, "we need real talks about peace, not just talks about talks. Now the Americans and Russians must sit down and agree on a concrete plan on the cessation of hostilities."

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11:20 a.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says the Turkish military is pushing ahead with its cross-border artillery shelling campaign against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia positions in Syria.

Anadolu Agency reported late on Thursday that artillery shells had "intermittently" targeted militia positions near the town of Azaz.

The report came as Turkey blamed the Syrian militia group as well as Turkey's own Kurdish rebels for Wednesday's bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 people. It also called on its allies to cut off support to the militia group.

The Kurdish militia, however, has been most effective in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Ankara appears increasingly uneasy over the group's recent gains across its border and has continued to shell the militia despite international calls for it to stop.