Syria's main opposition group will attend peace talks this month in Geneva to discuss further steps related to a fragile ceasefire that is mostly holding for its second week, a member of the group told dpa on Monday.

Suheir al-Attasi, a member of the opposition's negotiating committee, said the group wants to focus the talks on the formation of a transitional government "with full executive powers."

Al-Attasi said the delegation would arrive in the Swiss city during the weekend.

The ceasefire, brokered by the US and Russia before being implemented on February 27, is being observed "on the whole," with some "individual provocations and gunfire," Russia's Defence Ministry said.

"Under these conditions, an initial priority is the safe return of the civilian population to their homes and the provision of humanitarian aid," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Russia has helped provide more than 600 tonnes of aid, including food and medical supplies, to Syrian population centres and intends to continue air-dropping such provisions, the statement said.

Meanwhile, activists in Syria reported that hardline Islamic militants were shelling a Kurdish neighbourhood in the north-western city of Aleppo.

"This is a serious violation of the ceasefire," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He noted that some of the groups involved had signed up to the truce.

The shelling began on Sunday and has so far killed nine civilians and wounded 30 people in the Sheikh Maqsood neighbourhood, controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), reports said. Arab citizens were reported among the casualties.

Tensions are high in northern Syria between Kurds and some opposition groups.

Ahrar al Sham, a hardline Islamic faction that has backing from Turkey, is said to be among the groups shelling. Al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front, which is not part of the ceasefire, was also reportedly involved.

World powers hope the Geneva negotiations will initiate a political process to resolve the Syrian conflict, but the Syrian opposition's demand that President Bashar al-Assad have no role in the transitional government is likely to be a non-starter for the regime.

According to opposition sources, the representatives were invited to peace talks set for March 14. The talks were called in the lead-up to the start of the ceasefire, though their planned starting date has slipped from the original announcement of March 7.

The talks that led to the ceasefire also saw several delays in their start amid fraught negotiations about which parties would participate.

The Syrian conflict started as peaceful anti-government protests in 2011. It has since spiraled into a multi-sided civil war that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced at least 11 million people from their homes, according to UN estimates from June 2015.

Related stories

Russia threatens to attack Syrian ceasefire violators

Can Syrian rebels ever defeat Assad? - UpFront

Russian Delegation, Syrian Opposition Hold Meeting

Syria truce talks open in Kazakh capital Astana

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.