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State Dept: Syrian Ceasefire Hasn’t Collapsed But It’s ‘Very Fragile’

• September 20, 2016 2:37 pm

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State Department spokesman John Kirby denied reports Tuesday that the week-old Syrian ceasefire negotiated between the U.S. and Russia had collapsed.

Reuters reported Tuesday that the ceasefire had "collapsed in renewed violence" after an air attack Monday on a 31-truck convoy carrying humanitarian supplies near Aleppo. Russia, who is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the Syrian army denied responsibility for the attack, which came hours after the Assad regime declared the ceasefire was over. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Syrian forces were "evidently" behind the attack.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Kirby, who was live at the United Nations in New York City, about the convoy attack and whether that meant the ceasefire had collapsed.

"No, it has not," Kirby said. "In a word, no."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Kerry and other members of the International Syria Support Group met Tuesday, and Kerry declared the ceasefire is "not dead," in spite of the violence and accusations from all sides of agreement violations.

"All of the members, all 22, agreed that it is important to try to get this ceasefire to hold and to keep it going, to try to get a cessation of hostilities that’s nationwide," Kirby said. "So in short, no it’s not, but look, we’re also very pragmatic and realistic. We know it’s very fragile."

Kirby said the U.S. condemned the convoy attack which placed even more stress on the "delicate situation" in Syria.