Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Russia, US to meet again on Syria

Published:Thursday | September 8, 2016 | 9:00 AM
US Secretary of State John Kerry
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
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BEIRUT (AP):

Russia says Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to Geneva to discuss a possible Syria deal following months of negotiations.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to clinch a deal in China on Monday, acknowledging "gaps of trust" between the rival powers.

Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has been carrying out air strikes to bolster his forces for nearly a year. The United States supports rebels fighting to overthrow Assad and has called on him to step down.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Lavrov and Kerry had a telephone call Wednesday and agreed to work on the remaining details of a deal in Geneva on Thursday and Friday.

 

MANY SOLDIERS KILLED

 

Turkey's deputy prime minister says Turkey-backed Syrian rebel forces now control 300 square miles (772 square kilometres) of territory in northern Syria after pushing back the Islamic State group in a military operation that began last month.

Nurettin Canikli told reporters Wednesday that four Turkish soldiers have been killed and 19 wounded since Operation Euphrates Shield began on August 24.

Some 16 Syrian rebels were killed and 27 wounded. He said nearly 110 IS and Syrian Kurdish fighters have been killed. Turkish troops have clashed with US-backed Kurdish forces in the area, which Ankara views as a threat because of their alleged links with Kurdish insurgents fighting in southeastern Turkey.

The Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement its jets hit five targets in Syria yesterday, including two IS command centers. The military has hit 441 targets with artillery since the start of the operation.