Negating all presumptions on current and effective U.S.-Russian military coordination in Syria, U.S’ White House officially announced on Thursday that it is not coordinating military operations in Syria with Russian counterparts.
“At present, the U.S. is not conducting or coordinating military operations with Russia,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.
“I know there’s some speculation that an agreement may be reached to do so, but it’s not clear that that will happen,” he added.
The U.S. still is at disagreement with Russia’s continuous usage of military might to prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. However, Spokesman Earnest said that the U.S. welcomes Russian military contribution focused on ISIS and al Qaeda presence in Syria.
On that note, the U.S. persistently urges Russia to use its influence with Assad’s regime to expedite political solution in Syria.
Moreover, ahead of a Thursday meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, a series of regime-led airstrikes against Syrian Opposition areas of Syria’s divided Aleppo city killed at least 12 Thursday, anti-government activists and monitoring groups said.
The Kerry-Lavrov meeting was aimed at discussing prospects of reducing the violence and moving toward a political transition in Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 12 people, including seven women and children, were killed when airstrikes hit the Salheen and Tariq al-Bab districts, in the rebel-held parts of Aleppo city.
The Local Coordination Committees, another anti-government monitoring group, said five children were among those killed in Tariq al-Bab neighborhood.
Ibrahim al-Haj, a member of the team of Syrian Civil Defense first responders, said the strikes hit a residential house and a mosque opposite it. He said at least four people remain under the rubble.
Al-Haj said dozens of people attempted to use the Castello road Thursday, challenging the government blockade, and ended up wounded when they came under government fire. The exact number of those wounded is not yet known, he said.