US Suspends Contacts with Russia on Syria

Map shows areas controlled by competing groups in and around the city of Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2016 (The Associated Press))
Map shows areas controlled by competing groups in and around the city of Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2016 (The Associated Press))

WASHINGTON — The State Department says the U.S. is suspending bilateral contacts with Russia over Syria. That comes after last week's threat by Secretary of State John Kerry to suspend contacts amid new attacks on the city of Aleppo.

The department said in a statement Monday that Russia had not lived up to the terms of an agreement last month to restore the cease-fire and ensure sustained deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged cities.

As part of the suspension, the U.S. is withdrawing personnel that it had dispatched to take part in the creation of a joint U.S.-Russia center. That center was to have coordinated military cooperation and intelligence if the cease-fire had taken hold. The suspension will not affect communications between the two countries aimed at de-conflicting counter-terrorism operations in Syria.

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