MESOP : THE JOHN KERRY TALES ON SYRA – US : We’re Making Progress with Russia

 Ceasefires in Syria, despite Moscow’s continued intensive bombing of opposition areas.

7 Sept 2016 – eaworldview – Scott Lucas Washington had hoped to declare an agreement over the weekend, with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The arrangements reportedly would have included 48-hour truces to allow aid into parts of Aleppo city and sharing of intelligence for airstrikes on the Islamic State and the jihadists of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra).

However, as a pro-Assad offensive — supported by intense Russian bombing — regained important territory near Aleppo and re-imposed a siege on opposition areas, Moscow pulled back from completion of the deal.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday, “We continue to feel like we are making progress, and believe we are making progress, on some of the remaining issues, but we are not going to settle.”Toner said that Kerry and Lavrov are expected to meet “very soon” but that he could not announce a time or place. He added:What we are looking at is…is a clear path forward to a nationwide cessation of hostilities. Now whether that’s going to happen overnight or whether that’s going to happen over a period of days, that’s a question to be resolved.