Russia defies US, says will continue bombing Syria’s Aleppo

Eastern Aleppo has come under intense aerial bombardment for the past week
Eastern Aleppo has come under intense aerial bombardment for the past week

Russia has said it will carry on bombing rebel-held eastern Aleppo in Syria, defying US demands to stop.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the Russian air force would continue its support of the Syrian armed forces.

He also urged Washington to deliver on a pledge to separate moderate Syrian opposition fighters from “terrorists”.

It comes after the US warned that it will end talks on military co-operation unless Moscow stops the bombing.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that Russia had an interest in stopping the violence in Syria.

He said the conflict presents extremists with an opportunity to “exploit the vacuums” in the region and launch attacks “against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities”.

The recent cessation deal was meant to lead to joint Russian-US air strikes on so-called Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front).

However Russia has complained the US has not done enough to separate the more moderate rebel groups which it backs from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Many of these groups have formed a strategic alliance with the more powerful Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and fight alongside it.

Despite growing tensions between the two nations, Mr Peskov said Russia remains interested in pursuing talks with the US in an effort to resolve the crisis in Syria.

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