Increasing Violence in Syria

The US military has seen an increase of hostilities in Syria since the US-and Russia-brokered ceasefire ended, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. Davis described the “uptick in violence,” including an increase of aircraft and artillery strikes in and around Aleppo, Hama, and in eastern Damascus, as “very unfortunate” and said the Pentagon is still ready to create a joint implementation cell with Russia if there is a cessation of hostilities. The ceasefire collapsed last week after an aid convoy was bombed, killing 20 people, Reuters reported. Davis said there is no reason to doubt eyewitness reports that Syrian government helicopters and Russian aircraft took part in the strike. “There’s only three parties that fly in Syria. There’s the coalition, there’s Russia, and there’s Syria. It was not the coalition. The coalition has no reason to fly there; ISIL is not in Aleppo,” he said. “And inasmuch whether it was Russia or the regime, we hold Russia ultimately responsible because Russia, as part of the cessation of hostilities, agreed to restrain the actions of the Syrian regime and clearly failed in that regard.”