Europe

Fighting in Syria intensifies as opposition digs heels

  • UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks to the media during a press conference after a round of negotiations, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, April 18, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks to the media during a press conference after a round of negotiations, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, April 18, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riyad Hijab, Coordinator of the High Negotiation Committee, HNC, of Syria speaks to the media during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    Riyad Hijab, Coordinator of the High Negotiation Committee, HNC, of Syria speaks to the media during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riyad Hijab, Coordinator of the High Negotiation Committee, HNC, of Syria speaks to the media during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    Riyad Hijab, Coordinator of the High Negotiation Committee, HNC, of Syria speaks to the media during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syrian rebels and activists are reporting intensified fighting in the country's north and center, while a chief opposition negotiator says the conditions on the ground are not conducive to a political process.

The fighting in rural parts of the northern Latakia province, a government stronghold, and in the central Hama and Homs provinces Tuesday comes a day after the Syrian opposition said it is pausing its formal participation in the Geneva talks because of what it said were hundreds of government violations of a cease-fire agreement over two months.

Riad Hijab, the head of the Syrian opposition coalition, said on his Twitter account that government and allied forces target residential areas. He said conditions on the ground are not "conducive" to go on with the political talks.