Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kerry urges Russia to help stop Syrian regime's attacks

Kerry and Lavrov
Kerry and Lavrov

The United States urged Russia on Monday to press Syria to stop bombing opposition forces and civilians in Aleppo and the Damascus suburbs.

The appeal came in a phone call from Secretary of State John Kerry to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, reported AFP.

"Russia has a special responsibility in this regard to press the regime to end its offensive attacks and strikes that kill civilians, immediately allow relief supplies, as determined solely by the UN, to reach all in need, and to comply completely with the cessation of hostilities," State  Department spokesman Mark Toner said, according to the news agency.

The United States and Russia are co-partners in the so-called Vienna diplomatic process of the International Support Group for Syria, which met last week in the Austrian capital but made no notable progress.

The 20 world and regional powers taking part in the process have so far failed to turn a fragile cessation of hostilities in Syria, in effect since February 27, into a durable truce between the government and opposition groups.

Toner said the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad was using air strikes and attacks on civilians to gain tactical advantage. READ MORE