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The US Is Done Talking to Russia About the Syria Conflict

Russian involvement in renewed bloodshed in the rebel-held city of Aleppo seems to be behind the shutdown of dialogue.

by VICE Staff
Oct 3 2016, 10:00pm

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov with Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014. Photo via the US State Department

The United States on Monday formally suspended talks with Russia over the ongoing civil war raging in Syria, the New York Timesreports.

Russia and the US have tried in recent weeks to de-escalate the violence in the rebel-held city of Aleppo, center of an ongoing refugee crisis. But the Syrian government, with Russian support, has continued bombing rebel-held areas of the war-torn city.

"Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. "Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the cessation of hostilities, as demonstrated by their intensified attacks against civilian areas, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need."

The statement also mentioned that the US would no longer be working alongside the Russian army to target jihadist terrorists in the country. But the US military will continue to coordinate with the Russian military about its air operations in the area, in order to avoid any collisions, the State Department said.

International aid organizations have reported hundreds of deaths in the area just from the most recent week of fighting. According to the Times, there are still roughly 275,000 civilians trapped in Aleppo, and 100,000 of them are children.

Read: What Life Is Like Inside the Besieged, War-Torn Syrian City of Aleppo