US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Russia to implement a ceasefire in Syria, saying its bombing campaign was killing women and children in large numbers and “has to stop.”
“Russia has indicated to me very directly they are prepared to do a ceasefire,” Kerry told reporters, fresh from a trip to Europe focused on resolving the five-year Syrian conflict. “The Iranians confirmed in London just a day and a half ago they will support a ceasefire now.”
“We will have a much better sense in the next few days of how serious each party is,” added Kerry yesterday, a day after he implicitly blamed Russia’s bombing campaign against the Syrian opposition for the collapse of peace talks in Geneva this week.
Moscow, Damascus’s main ally, has stepped up bombing around the Syrian city of Aleppo in recent days, facilitating a government offensive that has forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee to the Turkish border.
Kerry accused the Russian military of using “dumb bombs.”
“They are not precision bombs, and there are civilians, including women and children, being killed in large numbers as a consequence,” he said, during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.