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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Kerry demands Russia halt bombing campaign in Syria

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 4, 2016 11:16AM

US Secretary of State John Kerry has demanded that Russia halt its bombing campaign in Syria, implicitly blaming Moscow for the collapse in the UN-sponsored peace talks.

Speaking ahead of a Syrian donor conference in London, Kerry said he had called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, for a 'robust' discussion on the issue, AFP reported on Thursday.

Kerry said he and the Russian foreign minister discussed the need on how to implement a ceasefire and ease the humanitarian situation in Syria.

'I had a conversation this morning with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We discussed, and he agreed that we need to discuss, how to implement the ceasefire and also how to get (humanitarian) access by both parties,' Kerry told reporters Thursday.

Moscow began a campaign of airstrikes against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria on September 30 last year upon a request by the Syrian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the air campaign will last for as long as it is necessary as Moscow's goal is to help Damascus defeat the terrorists.

In Geneva on Wednesday, the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that the Syrian peace talks were postponed until February 25.

'I have concluded frankly that after the first week of preparatory talks there is more work to be done, not only by us but by the stakeholders,' he said following a meeting with Riad Hijab, the head of the main Syrian opposition group, the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has reportedly killed more than 260,000 people and left over one million injured.

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