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Aleppo militants use civilians as shields

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Aleppo militants use civilians as shields

The Observatory said Wednesday that at least 358 civilians have been killed in eastern Aleppo since a US and Russian-brokered truce collapsed on September 19.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, have been trying to wrest control of Aleppo.

The United States and Russian Federation are convening global talks in Europe at the weekend to try once again to secure a ceasefire and end the Russia-backed Syrian bombing campaign in Aleppo.

Now in its sixth year, Syria's civil war has killed 300,000 people and made millions homeless while dragging in regional and global powers and inspiring extremist attacks overseas.

He said the United States knew who was to blame for the attack but that Washington preferred instead to make what he called baseless accusations about Russian involvement.

Russian Federation said Thursday it was prepared to secure safe passage for rebels to quit Syria's Aleppo but kept up air strikes on the battleground city as world powers readied new truce talks.

The city of Aleppo has been decimated by the 5-year Syrian civil war.

Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said Russian airstrikes follow a thorough analysis of data gathered by satellites, drones and agents on the ground to identify militant targets and insisted that facilities located close to residential areas, schools, hospitals, street markets and mosques are never targeted. The West has accused Moscow and Damascus of committing potential war crimes in the operations against eastern Aleppo.

The evacuation happened after the army gave community leaders in Qudsiya and Al-Hama - which had enjoyed relative calm under local truces - an ultimatum to get several hundred fighters out of their towns or face a wide-scale assault. Russian's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed Wednesday, "Well it's flattering of course to get this kind of attention.We have not seen a single fact, a single proof".

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"But if they vote for Hillary it's war", said Zhirinovsky (translated) in the interview.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that for Kerry, the bilateral talks had been suspended but were "not dead".

On Tuesday, the administration vowed there would a "proportional" response without warning to the hacking.

It also might temper a sense of betrayal among moderate rebels who feel Obama encouraged their uprising by calling for Assad to go but then abandoned them, failing even to enforce his own "red line" against Syria's use of chemical weapons.

"The bombing started at 2 a.m. and it's going on until now", Ibrahim Abu Laith, an official at the civil defense rescue organization in Aleppo, told Reuters from Aleppo.

Shelling and rocket fire by myriad rebel and jihadist groups, meanwhile, has killed 68 people in government-held areas.

Kirby also emphasized the importance of both tracks of talks - with Russian Federation, which has "the most influence on Assad", and with other regional players with "influence on other units".

The two ministers discussed the situation in Syria, the ministry said, with Ayrault underlining the urgent need to break the current impasse and halt the bombardment of Aleppo to allow in humanitarian aid and open the possibility of renewed negotiations toward a political solution in the Syrian conflict.

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