DAMASCUS – The US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned the Syrian regime and its main military backer Russia to respect “frayed” ceasefire, saying the United States’ patience on the increasing death toll was “not infinite”.
“Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite, in fact it is very limited with whether or not [Bashar] al-Assad is going to be held accountable,” Kerry said on Wednesday.
Kerry’s statement came after meeting defence ministers from Syria, Iran and Russia in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in an effort to halt the raging fighting, especially in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo where dozens died in the past two days.
“We also are prepared to hold accountable members of the opposition who have been involved in continuing violence,” he said.
A Syrian ceasefire –backed by Washington and Moscow– has been in place since February 27, but fresh bout of fighting broke out in April that stalled the UN peace talks in Geneva.
“It is very clear that the cessation of hostilities is frayed and at risk and that it is critical for a genuine cessation to be put in place. We know that, we have no illusion.”
The United States Secretary of State also stressed that efforts are under way to reach a new agreement in the next week or two to reinstate the ceasefire across Syria, which may lead to more humanitarian aid deliveries and a resumption of the peace process.
“This is a critical moment and we are working very, very hard to see if we can in the next week or two come to an agreement that has a capacity to more fully implement a ceasefire across the country and deliver humanitarian access in a way that then provides for a genuine opportunity to bring people to the table and start talking about a transition,” Kerry said.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
Source: ARA News