Kerry Calls For No-Fly Zone Over Key Syria Areas
September 21, 2016
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said all aircraft in certain parts of northern Syria need to be grounded in order to establish a credible cease-fire in the area.
Kerry told the UN Security Council on September 21 that he believes there is a way "out of the carnage" in Syria and that a no-fly zone could restore credibility to attempts to end the civil war there and allow humanitarian aid to flow into people living in besieged areas.
He spoke as a U.S.-Russian cease-fire agreement for Syria reached on September 9 had collapsed, with both sides accusing the other of not fulfilling agreements.
Kerry said it was imperative that Russia force the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad to ground its planes.
He added that only Russian and Syrian warplanes had flown in northern Syria on September 19 where a UN aid convoy and Red Crescent warehouse were hit by an aerial attack, killing at least 20 civilians.
Moscow has said neither Russian nor Syrian planes were involved in the bombing.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the Security Council meeting that Russia and Syria would not take part in any more "unilateral pauses" that he said opposition groups fighting the Syrian regime used to rearm themselves and strengthen their positions.
The UN suspended all aid deliveries after the strike on the humanitarian convoy.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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