Syrian state media says a government delegation has arrived to join the new round of U.N.-mediated peace talks with an umbrella opposition group that began this week in Geneva.

The arrival of the Damascus team, led by Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, comes amid an escalation in northern Aleppo province that has left 34 dead on both sides. The renewed fighting has undermined the fragility of the cease-fire that has largely held elsewhere in Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that of those killed in the past 24 hours in the clashes, 14 were pro-government fighters and 20 were militants.

U.N. Special Envoy Steffan De Mistura has said he hopes this round will have substantive talks on a peace process to resolve the country's five-year civil war.