US and Russia discuss possible new Syria ceasefire

US and Russia discuss possible new Syria ceasefire
The US and Russia are attempting to reconcile their differences over Syria after the breakdown in a ceasefire and heavy fighting in Aleppo.
2 min read
22 September, 2016
Kerry and Lavrov have clashed several times over Syria [Getty]
US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke late Wednesday night with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov about the breakdown of Syria's ceasefire.

The conversation took place "at the initiative of the Americans", the Russian foreign ministry said in a message on Facebook on Thursday.

The diplomats then met, accompanied by their delegations, "to continue discussing the problem of a settlement (of the conflict) in Syria".

It comes after Kerry and Lavrov clashed at a UN meeting over a resumption of fighting in Syria.

It began with the bombing of an aid convoy by suspected regime or Russian war planes on Monday night.

The attack - denied by Moscow and Damascus - sparked an angry response from the US and UN.

Russia and the United States negotiated the brief ceasefire plan, but Syria said it had ended the truce on Monday after US-led coalition accidently hit regime troops fighting IS.

On Wednesday, an angry Kerry demanded at a UN Security Council meeting that Russia force Syria to ground its air force, which Washington blames for the attack on the aid convoy.

Kerry said the bombing raised "profound doubt" about whether Russia and its Syrian ally were committed to upholding a ceasefire.

In his address to the Security Council, Lavrov declared on Wednesday that there would be "no more unilateral pauses" by Syrian regime forces.

He argued that opposition fighters on the ground had previously used those ceasefires to regroup.

The US and Russia are to chair a meeting in New York later on Thursday of the 23-nation International Syria Support Group, which brings together world powers with a stake in the civil war.