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US responsible for any collapse of Syria ceasefire, Russia warns

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A general view taken on September 16, 2016, shows the damaged Carlton Hotel in the government-held side of the Syrian city of Aleppo. (Photo by AFP)

A senior Russian military official has blasted the United States for failing to meet its obligations under a recently implemented ceasefire in Syria, saying Washington will be to blame if the truce deal falls apart.

On September 9, Moscow and Washington agreed on a milestone deal on the Syrian crisis after some 13 hours of marathon talks in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The truce went into effect at sunset on September 12. The deal's initial aims include allowing humanitarian access and joint Moscow-Washington attacks against militant groups, which are not covered by the agreement, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Russian Defense Ministry official Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir said on Saturday that the ceasefire agreement has been violated by US-approved militant groups 199 times over the past five days, expressing concern that conditions in Syria were deteriorating particularly in Aleppo and Hama provinces.

“The United States and so-called moderate (militant) groups under their control did not implement any of the obligations taken under the Geneva agreements,” Poznikhir said.

“If the United States does not take steps needed to fulfill its obligations under the September 9 agreement, then all the responsibility for any collapse of the ceasefire in Syria would lie with the United States,” added the Russian army official.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday that the fighting had resumed between militants and government forces in the suburb of Eastern Ghouta region, near the capital, Damascus.

The UK-based monitoring group also reported airstrikes targeting terrorist positions in the provinces of Homs and Latakia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Takfiri terrorists in Syria of taking advantage of the truce deal to regroup.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during a news conference after a CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, former Soviet republics) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, September 17, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Addressing reporters in the Kyrgyz capital city of Bishkek on Saturday, Putin said the US cannot make a distinction between the so-called moderate opposition in Syria and Takfiri terrorists active in the Arab country.

The Russian leader added that Moscow was honoring the ceasefire and hoped the United States would stick to its commitments as well.

Putin’s remarks came after an urgent UN Security Council meeting on Syria was canceled on Friday apparently after the US refused to share documents on the truce deal.

The seven-day truce is the second attempt this year by Russia and the US to bring an end to the Syrian crisis, which started in March 2011.

According to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria. 

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