A Syrian rebel fighter walks across the ruins of an old market in central Aleppo. File photo
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DAMASCUS – The US-Russian plan to end the five-year conflict in Syria “must be saved as there is no alternative”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the UN on Friday.
Lavrov’s statement comes after the northern Syrian city of Aleppo endured a day of heavy airstrikes.
The Syrian regime’s military intensified its operations in Aleppo in a bid to retake rebel-held areas.
A seven-day US-Russian brokered truce collapsed on Monday. Lavrov blamed the United States for “failing to control the rebel groups” it backs.
According to the Russian FM, one of the key conditions of the truce was for US-backed moderate rebel groups to separate themselves from radical Islamists.
“Unfortunately the coalition led by the United States, which committed itself to make sure that this separation happens, has not been able to do this,” Lavrov said.
“It is now essential to prevent a disruption of the [US-Russia] agreements,” he said.
In the meantime, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had met his Russian counterpart Lavrov earlier in the day and that there was “a little bit of progress” on resolving differences on Syria.
“We’re evaluating some mutual ideas in a constructive way, period,” Kerry said.
By: Laila Majdalawi