Kerry Tells Russia to Press Assad to Comply With Syria Ceasefire

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry voiced concern to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday about renewed fighting and air strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo after a break of several days, the State Department said.

WASHINGTON, April 16 – There is an “urgent need” for the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to stop violating the ceasefire in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, and called on Russia to help, the State Department said.

It said Kerry, in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said “The United States expected Russia to urge the regime to comply with the cessation and that we would work with the opposition to do the same.”

The United States knows that some of the Syrian government actions in and around the city of Aleppo are being backed by Russian air strikes, State Depart spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing.

He said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that the United States was concerned about credible reports of violation in and around Aleppo, “and to the degree that they are aided and abetted by Russian air strikes – yes that’s a matter of concern for us.”

While urging Russia to press the Syrian government to stop the violations, Kerry “promised that we would do the same on our part for the opposition groups that we are supporting,” the spokesman said.

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