U.S. calls off Syria ceasefire talks with Russia

Oct 04, 2016, 12:58 AM EDT
Devastation in Aleppo
(Source: Freedom House/flickr)

The U.S. has suspended talks with Russia over ending the Syrian conflict, accusing Moscow of not “living up to its own commitments” under the ceasefire agreement that was signed on September 9. Russia condemned America’s decision to break off the talks, adding that the U.S. has been shifting the blame for the failure of last month’s truce. The announcement came as seven people were killed after the third air strike in a week struck the largest hospital in the rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Monday.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that Moscow was either unwilling or unable to convince the Syrian regime to stick to the arrangements of the agreed ceasefire deal, reports the BBC. The U.S. also announced that it will withdraw the personnel that was sent for setting up the Joint (U.S.-Russian) Implementation Center as per of the truce agreement.

Suspension of talks comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval to suspend an agreement with the U.S. on disposing of weapons-grade plutonium, writes Al Jazeera. Frequent recriminatory exchanges leading to a complete halt of peace talks between Washington and Moscow is an indication that the civil war in Syria will not end by diplomatic solutions anytime soon.

In a separate development, a bomb killed at least 20 people at a Kurdish wedding in Syria’s northeastern city of Hasaka on Monday, notes Reuters