News World Syria ceasefire ends – no hope for Aleppo

Syria ceasefire ends – no hope for Aleppo

Syria ceasefire over
A kurdish marksman overlooks the destroyed Syrian town of Kobane. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty
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A Syrian ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia has failed.

Insurgents are preparing for a full resumption of fighting, and there is no hope that aid to Aleppo will be delivered.

Air raids were reported in Aleppo even as US and Russian officials were meeting in Geneva to try to extend the truce.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported a number of dead and injured after rebel–held areas of the city were bombed.

Already widely violated since it took effect a week ago, the ceasefire came under added strain at the weekend when Russia said jets from the US-led coalition against Islamic State – including Australian forces – killed nearly 100 Syrian soldiers in eastern Syria.

The Syrian military has posted evidence of resumption of fighting on YouTube:

From New York, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on all countries to work to reinstate the ceasefire.

“From Australia’s point of view we call on all parties to reinstate the ceasefire and ensure that we work together to achieve a resolution,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations’ summit on refugees.

The US-Russian agreement marked the second ceasefire negotiated by Washington and Moscow this year in the hope of advancing a political solution towards ending the war, now in its sixth year, that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

But while the agreement led to a significant reduction in fighting over the past week, violence has been increasing in recent days, and a planned delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo – one of the first steps in the deal – was repeatedly postponed.

Plans to evacuate several hundred rebels from the last opposition-held district of Homs city have also overshadowed the agreement, with rebels saying it would amount to the government declaring the ceasefire over.

The collapse of the ceasefire, a major project of US Secretary of State John Kerry, could doom any chance of the administration of President Barack Obama negotiating a breakthrough on Syria before it leaves office in January.

Kerry overcame scepticism of other administration officials to hammer out the truce, gambling on co-operation with Russia despite the deepest mistrust in decades between the Cold War-era superpower foes.

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