Meeting Breaks Up Without Plan To Restore Truce

Syrian regime launched a new assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo as the United States and Russia failed to revive a floundering peace plan. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gathered two dozen international envoys at talks in New York to address the crisis. But the meeting of the international Syria support group broke up after Russia refused US demands that it promise to immediately ground the Syrian regime’s air force. Kerry said he is ready to meet the Russians again today to see if there are any means to revive the truce that failed this week. UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura called it a “long, painful and disappointing meeting” but insisted that Washington and Moscow are serious about the truce. He blamed unnamed other parties among the delegates for “undermining” the US-Russian initiative and added “they are still trying, so declaring it dead would be wrong.” In Damascus, the Syrian army urged residents of Aleppo to stay away “from the positions of terrorists” as it launched its new offensive in defiance of the truce. Syrian observatory for human rights described the latest assault as “a large-scale land offensive supported by Russian air strikes

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