Russian FM pessimistic on Syria truce chances

Syria conflict: France calls on Russia to stop bombing civilians

Syrian pro-government forces backed by Russian air strikes have advanced in many areas of the country in recent weeks, reclaiming territory from rebels in Latakia province and surrounding the northern city of Aleppo, from where tens of thousands of people have fled into rebel-held territory near the Turkish border. So the US plan B could be to get more involved on the ground and create safe zones for civilians. But he complained that coordination hasn’t gone beyond an agreement to avoid in-air accidents.

Lavrov said that everyday military cooperation between Washington and Moscow in particular is “the key tool” to ensure delivery of humanitarian supplies and an end to hostilities.

Saudi Arabia moved fighter jets to a Turkish airbase and offered its special forces for a possible ground offensive in Syria by a U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State. “But given the situation in Syria, it’s not clear what the deal will lead to on the ground”, writes the cable news outlet.

He repeated allegations that Russian airstrikes in Syria have not been directed at terrorists but rather at moderate opposition groups supported by the USA and its European and Arab partners.

If the cessation of hostilities does manage to take hold elsewhere, Landis of the University of Oklahoma said it will likely be eggshell fragile because so many groups are involved in the fighting.

“Russia, in particular, claims to be attacking terrorist groups and yet consistently bombs non-extremist groups including civilians”. “To date, the vast majority – in our opinion – of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups“, Kerry said in a speech.

“There’s a lot of work to do before an effective cessation can commence”, said Kerry, whose country together with Russian Federation co-chairs a United Nations task force meant to find ways toward a durable cessation of violence.

Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV says troops are now overlooking the town of Hayan and parts of the town of Anadan.

A senior Iranian commander warned Saudi Arabia on Sunday (Feb 14) against sending troops to Syria after the gulf kingdom deployed combat aircraft to Turkey, Iran’s state media reported. A half-million Syrians were among the 1 million refugees who flowed into Europe a year ago in the biggest migration the continent has seen since World War II.

Zarif said on Friday that his country and Saudi Arabia “must overcome years of strained relations and work for stability in Syria and the Middle East”.

The U.S. lawmaker was responding to a question on how the U.S. could change its Syria policy and reduce the threat from Islamic State militants.

Turkish television channels NTV and CNN Turk also carried remarks by Cavusoglu suggesting that Turkey and Saudi Arabia see eye-to-eye on the need for ground operations in Syria. Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, notes CNN, at least 250,000 people have been displaced by the conflict.

Political Director of the French Foreign Ministry Nicolas de Riviere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, from left, pose for the media prior to their meeting at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday Feb. 13, 2016.