US, Russia agree to continue humanitarian aid in Syria: Kirby
Iran Press TV
Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:12PM
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have agreed on continuing the flow of humanitarian assistance to the conflict-stricken parts of Syria.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Saturday the two diplomats spoke on phone, and discussed the progress negotiators in Geneva are making toward developing 'modalities' toward a cessation of hostilities in Syria.
'Those modalities are not yet fully agreed upon, but both ministers appreciated the scope and attention to detail task force members applied in drafting them,' Kirby said.
'The secretary expressed his hope that a full cessation of hostilities could be achieved in the shortest timeframe possible,' he said.
Last week, ministers meeting for Syria crisis talks in Germany agreed to "accelerate and expand" humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit country.
'We have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately,' Kerry said at the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting on February 12 in the German city of Munich where the working group of 17 countries held a round of Syria peace talks focusing on calls for a ceasefire and access for humanitarian aid.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since 2011, which has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people so far, according to the United Nations.
But the Syrian Center for Policy Research recently reported that over 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the beginning of the crisis.
Since September 2014, the US and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes purportedly against Daesh inside Syria without getting approval from the Syrian government or the UN.
Meanwhile, Russia has also been conducting airstrikes on the positions of Daesh and other militant groups in Syria since September 30, 2015, upon a request by the government in Damascus.
The Syrian army's fight against terrorists took a new turn after Russia started launching airstrikes against the Takfiri terrorists. But US officials accuse Russia of targeting civilians instead of terrorists inside Syria.
In their phone conversation on Saturday, Kerry told Lavrov Washington is deeply concerned about Russia's continued bombing of "civilian" targets, Kirby said in the statement.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|