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US, France accuse Assad of seeking military solution in Syria

The United States and France have accused the Syrian government and Russia of seeking a military solution for the Syrian crisis.

“The continued assault by Syrian regime forces – enabled by Russian air strikes – against opposition-held areas, as well as regime and allied militias’ continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have clearly signalled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement yesterday.

“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, addressing the Syrian regime “and its supporters.”

“During this pause in the talks, the world needs to push in one direction – toward stopping the oppression and suffering of the Syrian people and ending, not prolonging, this conflict,” he added.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has also condemned the Syrian regime forces’ attacks on Aleppo, the largest city in northern Syria.

“France condemns the brutal offensive by the Syrian regime, with the support of Russia, to encircle and asphyxiate Aleppo and its hundreds of thousands of inhabitants,” Fabius said yesterday as talks in Geneva aimed at securing peace in Syria were suspended until 25 February.

“France fully supports the UN 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,” he added.

Forces loyal to Al-Assad yesterday claimed to have severed the last opposition supply line to Aleppo.

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