Iraq News

Amid violence, hopes remain for Syria ceasefire

US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Tuesday (September 20th) that hopes for a ceasefire in Syria remain alive after meeting with Russia and key stakeholders, AFP reported.

In brief remarks as he left a meeting of the 23-nation International Syria Support Group (ISSG) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Kerry said talks would reconvene later this week.

"The ceasefire is not dead," Kerry insisted, one day after the Syrian military declared a week-old truce over and launched new bombardments on opposition-held cities.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura confirmed that there was still hope of reviving the ceasefire, but admitted that delegates agreed it was in danger.

The ISSG talks were brief and tense, participants said.

Meanwhile, fighting continued in Syria, one day after a deadly strike on a UN and International Committee of the Red Cross convoy delivering aid to Aleppo.

In Aleppo, air raids and artillery fire hit opposition-held districts, while fighting also intensified in the opposition-held eastern suburbs of Damascus. Artillery fire also hit the opposition-held town of Talbisseh.

In his farewell address to the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to end the war in Syria.

"I appeal to all those with influence to end the fighting and get talks started," Ban said, denouncing the "sickening, savage and apparently deliberate attack" on the aid convoy in Syria.

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