Kerry says Assad regime aims for military solution

US Secretary of State John Kerry states Syrian regime forces backed by Russian air strikes have made it clear they seek military solution rather than political one to end war in Syria as they continue to hit opposition-held areas

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

The US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Updated Feb 4, 2016

The US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that Assad forces, backed by Russian air strikes, attacking the opposition-held areas have made it clear that they seek a military solution rather than a political one to the Syrian conflict.

Kerry said in a statement that the Syrian regime and its allies should stop targeting opposition areas, especially in Aleppo and end sieges of civilian areas in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution.

"It is past time for them to meet existing obligations and restore the international community's confidence in their intentions of supporting a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis," Kerry said.

Syrian talks halted due to Russian air strikes

The US State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that Syria peace talks in Geneva have been halted as a result of the ongoing Russian air strikes in Syria.

Kirby added that the Russia’s attacks have mainly focused on opposition-held areas in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, rather than targeting DAESH terror organisation targets.

Kirby also indicated that the air strikes have impeded humanitarian relief to the civilians in the country.

United Nations Syria peace mediator Staffan de Mistura froze the start of the peace talks on Wednesday, following Assad forces, backed by Russian air strikes, advancing into north of Aleppo against opposition forces.

An overview of the room where UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian regime delegation met at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2016. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has also said that the Syrian regime forces have burdened the talks.

"It has become increasingly clear in recent days the extent to which the Geneva talks have been burdened by the Syrian army's military offensive near Aleppo," Steinmeier said.

He added the next opportunity for collective action with regional actors would be at the Munich Security Conference in Feb. 12-14. The peace talks in Geneva have been stopped until February 25.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also accused the Syrian regime and its supporters of "torpedoing" talks with offensive attacks on Aleppo.

"We condemn the Syrian regime's brutal offensive with support from Russia to surround and suffocate Aleppo," Fabius stated.

"France fully supports the (United Nations) special envoy's decision to suspend negotiations to which neither Bashar al-Assad's regime nor his allies clearly want to contribute in good faith, thus torpedoing peace efforts."

TRTWorld and agencies