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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Kerry To Hold Talks As Syria Deaths Mount

Nearly 250 people have recently died in Aleppo as Russia said it would not ask President Assad to halt bombing raids on the city.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is flying to Geneva, Switzerland, this weekend for urgent talks on the Syria conflict.
He will discuss "ongoing efforts to reaffirm the cessation of hostilities" and delivery of aid to besieged communities with his Saudi and Jordanian counterparts, the State Department said.
The talks were announced a day after Washington said it was in discussions with Russia about how to salvage the two-month truce between the Syrian government and opposition.
Nearly 30 airstrikes hit rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday as a temporary "regime of calm" declared by President Bashar al Assad's military took effect around the capital Damascus and northwest Syria.
At least 246 civilians have died in bombing raids, shelling and rocket fire in Aleppo since 22 April, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

The violence has caused the main opposition to walk out of peace talks in Geneva.
Anas Al Abde, president of the Syrian National Coalition, accused the government of violating the truce brokered by the US and Russia on 27 February "daily".
All sides have accused each other of truce violations.
On Friday, a hospital in Aleppo was hit by an airstrike, wounding several people.
Earlier in the week, the Al Quds hospital and nearby flats were struck in rebel-held Sukkari neighbourhood.
The death toll from that bombing has since risen to 50 people, including six medical staff and patients, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said.
Russia said it would not ask Mr Assad's regime to halt its bombing raids on the city.
"No, we are not going to put pressure on (Damascus) because one must understand that the situation in Aleppo is part of this fight against the terrorist threat," said deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov.
On Thursday, Washington appealed to Moscow to keep Mr Assad's forces in check.
A leading pro-government newspaper said Mr Assad's army is preparing a major campaign to recapture the whole of Aleppo and surrounding province.
A new round of UN-backed peace talks is due to begin on 10 May in Geneva after the last round ended with no progress.

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