Syria truce hangs in balance amid attacks, lack of aid
Сен 20 2016 by Desiree Burns
The violence comes amid a bitter row between Moscow and Washington over the US-led airstrikes that killed dozens of Syrian regime troops on Saturday in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
Russian Federation has warned of serious doubts over a fragile week-old ceasefire in Syria after the United States bombing of Syrian army positions east of the country.
Four air strikes hit rebel-held parts of Syria's Aleppo on Sunday, a monitor said, in the first raids on the battered city since a truce took effect. Aid delivery to Aleppo is part of the U.S. -Russia cease-fire deal.
The United States, Russia, the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition have all traded allegations of truce violations.
It said in a statement that "terrorist groups", a term the Syrian government uses to refer to all insurgents fighting against it, had failed to commit to any of the provisions of the deal, and had used the ceasefire to rearm whilst violating it 300 times.
The Syrian army has been fighting off an offensive by the militant Islamic State (IS) group around the key Deir Ezzor airbase since past year.
Konashenkov says Moscow still has not been able to get in touch with the US -backed opposition to coordinate cease-fire efforts despite Washington's assurances.
A senior Syrian opposition figure said on Monday that the ceasefire was "clinically dead".
Although Kerry professed hope, USA officials said Monday conditions were still not right to set up the Joint Implementation Center.
Heavy clashes continued on Sunday east of Damascus in the rebel-held Jobar suburb, the Observatory and a witness said.
The US said they may have accidentally hit a government position while trying to attack so-called Islamic State, who are not covered by the ceasefire.
But Kerry also acknowledged that the first stage of the truce - which called for a week of calm and the delivery of humanitarian aid to several besieged communities - had never really come to fruition.
The Syrian military said the airstrike enabled an ISIS advance on a hill overlooking the air base.
The Syrian military confirmed the loss of a warplane it said was carrying out an operation against rebels. Defense Minister Marise Payne told Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday that Australia is taking part in a US review of the airstrikes.
The Saturday airstrikes involved Australian, British and Danish warplanes on Syrian army positions. He said Australian rules of engagement were to target the Islamic State movement.
The ceasefire's co-sponsors, Russian Federation and the United States, have each blamed one another, with relations strained even further after the US-led raid killed scores of Syrian soldiers on Saturday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group with contacts across Syria, cited a military source at Deir al-Zor airport as saying at least 90 Syrian soldiers had been killed.
An emergency UN Security Council meeting called by Moscow to discuss the attack saw an exchange between the U.S. and Russian Federation reminiscent of Cold War-era verbal jousting. -Russian brokered cease-fire was over, shortly after the Russian military said it was "meaningless" to continue observing the agreement.
The Observatory said aid trucks making a routine delivery organised by an worldwide organisation to an area west of Aleppo city were hit near the town of Urm al-Kubra.
The head of Fateh al-Sham Front, which changed its name from Al-Nusra Front after renouncing its ties to al-Qaeda, said late Saturday that opposition fighters would do all they could to end the encirclement.
Hours after the coalition strike, the Pentagon admitted US-led pilots may have hit Assad's forces but said that they "believed they were striking an IS fighting position".
Tens of thousands of people live in government-held neighborhoods of Deir el-Zour under an IS siege. Government areas have been relying on aid that was being dropped from aircraft. IS also controls much of the surrounding province, which borders Iraq.
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