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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kerry helpless as Russia refuses to rein in Assad

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to "restrain" itself and the government in Syria as fierce fighting there continues on the day he had hoped political transition could start.

"It is critical, obviously, that Russia restrain both itself and the Assad regime from conducting offensive operations, just as it is our responsibility to get the opposition to refrain from engaging in those operations," he told journalists.

Kerry said the government's attacks had prevented the warring parties from meeting for negotiations on Monday, the target date set for the regime and opposition forces to agree on the framework of a political transition.

"The target date was set with the agreement that the parties were going to be able to go to the talks and begin immediately to negotiate," he said. READ MORE