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Syrian offensive kills scores in Aleppo before Swiss talks

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He said: "We must negotiate a new ceasefire deal in order to put an end to the relentless bombing in Aleppo, and we will not shut up until we convince the Russians that this is the best and only way forward". "You have to keep cleaning this area and to push the terrorists to Turkey to go back to where they come from, or to kill them".

In this picture provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, residents sit amongst rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 11, 2016. "There's no other option", Assad said in an interview with Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. On Wednesday, at least 81 civilians died in Aleppo after more than 50 airstrikes blamed on Russian Federation and the Syrian regime struck the eastern sector of the embattled Syrian city.

More than 70 civilians died on Tuesday and Wednesday alone in air strikes and regime artillery fire on eastern Aleppo districts, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights monitoring group said.

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".

US officials said they consider it unlikely that Obama will order USA air strikes on Syrian government targets, and they stressed that he may not make any decisions at the planned meeting of his National Security Council. There's no other option.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are alsodue to meet in Lausanne alongside diplomats from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"Blowing hot and cold allows them to reduce the pressure and empower those who want a strictly diplomatic approach to the Syrian question", he told AFP.

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Asked whether the Pentagon was developing targets for retaliatory strikes, Davis said: "I'm not confirming that right now". The U.N. and rights groups estimate the conflict has killed at least 9,000 people and displaced almost 3 million more.

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The U.S. Department of State said Kerry plans to discuss a "multilateral approach" to ending the Syrian Civil War, now in its sixth year, and brokering a "sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries".

Some officials argue the United States must act more forcefully in Syria or risk losing what influence it still has over moderate rebels and its Arab, Kurdish and Turkish allies in the fight against ISIL, the officials said. The overriding goal of Tehran and Moscow appears to be to help the Assad government retake all of Aleppo just as the Obama administration prepares to leave office in order to put themselves in the strongest possible position at any future peace talks convened by the next USA president.

Airstrikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo resumed on Thursday despite an announcement by the Syrian army that it would taper off strikes for humanitarian reasons.

Rescue workers said 154 people had been killed in recent days.

The fresh aerial assault was accompanied by the regime's advance on the northeastern outskirts of Aleppo, where its forces captured several hilltops overlooking the opposition-held areas.

Earlier Thursday the United States launched cruise missiles at three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.

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