US threatens to end Syria talks with Russia
US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Russian counterpart on Wednesday and warned him that Washington would end talks on the Syrian conflict unless Moscow halts the assault on Aleppo.
A State Department spokesman said Kerry told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that plans to set up a joint US-Russia military cell to target jihadist groups in Syria would also be put on hold.
“He informed the foreign minister that the US is making preparations to suspend US-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria...unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities,” spokesman John Kirby said.
Kerry and Lavrov have been leading global efforts to bring Syria’s five-year-old civil war to an end, and on September 9 agreed to demand a ceasefire.
Moscow was to order its ally Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to rein in his military and end the bombardment of civilians, and Washington was to persuade rebel forces to separate themselves from jihadist Fateh al-Sham group. Agencies
US announces new slice of Syria aid
With the Syrian city of Aleppo facing a new regime onslaught and Washington’s diplomacy under criticism for failing to halt the carnage, the US has announced a new aid package.
The State Department said it would release $364 million more to UN aid agencies and NGOs working to help Syrian civilians inside and outside the war-torn country.
The latest slice of funding brings the total amount spent by the US since the war started over five years ago to $5.9 billion.