US, Russia fail to revive Syrian truce
The U.S. and Russia on Thursday failed to revive a recently ended truce in Syria, according to the UN envoy to Syria.
Staffan de Mistura told reporters that a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly was "long, painful and disappointing."
The U.S. and Russia brokered a cessation of hostilities between Syrian the regime and opposition forces on Sept. 8.
But the deal collapsed Monday after the U.S. inadvertently struck a Syrian regime camp killing 62 regime soldiers.
De Mistura said that announcing the termination of the cessation of hostilities was wrong and added that he wants to see parties to the war, including the U.S. and Russia, serious about brokering peace.
The violence continues to rage in the war-torn country as the Syrian military announced a new offensive on Aleppo on Thursday.
Speaking to the media following the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington is doing everything to uphold the truce and urged Russia and the Syrian government to do their part.
"We can't go out to the world and say we have an agreement when we don't," Kerry said. "If the Russians come back to us with constructive proposals we will listen."
Kerry and Lavrov agreed they would continue consultations Friday.
A senior State Department official speaking to the media on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly said it is impossible to say a cease-fire is in effect when Syrian forces are conducting a renewed offensive on Aleppo.
"We have to call the facts as we see them and describe the situation as the people of Syria are experiencing it," the official said.
Another official also speaking on condition that he not be named said even if Russia is not participating directly in the offensive, it is still responsible for the actions of Syrian forces under the cessation agreement.
He added that despite significant frustrations amongst the International Syria Support Group members, including backers of the opposition and government, "there at least was not a clear voice for a different path.
"Our patience for the current process is far from limitless," the official said, but added: "I don’t think tonight, and right now as we approaching a climactic stage of this, is the time to say where we will go from here."
The International Syria Support Group includes the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, France, EU, Arab League and several other European and Arab countries.
Last Modified: 2016-09-23 07:42:31
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