Russia And US Fail To Reach Syria Deal As Bombs Kill Dozens In Regime And YPG-Held Areas

September 5, 2016
Aftermath of bombings in Tartus this morning. Photo via LCC

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Russia And US Fail To Reach Syria Deal As Bombs Kill Dozens In Regime And YPG-Held Areas

News that talks between the US and Russia concluded without any deal on Syria came alongside breaking reports of a series of massive bomb explosions in the country, two of which took place in Tartus, home to Russia’s naval base.

Reuters reports that Kerry and Lavrov had held a meeting at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.

This is the second time in two weeks that Kerry and Lavrov have failed to reach a deal on a ceasefire deal. The previous time they met was in Geneva on Aug. 26. Kerry has said the United States won’t accept just any deal just to have it collapse again.

A cessation of hostilities agreement brokered by Lavrov and Kerry in February unraveled within weeks, with Washington accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of violating the agreement.

The next time they are likely to meet is on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York from Sept. 18.

State Department officials have refused to elaborate on what the sticking points are preventing a deal.

Russia has insisted that it cannot agree to a deal unless opposition fighters, backed by the United States and Middle East allies, are separated from al-Qaeda linked militants they overlap with in some areas.

This morning a series of bombs went off in regime held Tartus, Homs and a suburb of Damascus, as well as YPG-controlled Hasakah.

The Syrian Local Coordination Committees (LCC) report that two car bombs were detonated at a military checkpoint on the highway entering Tartus.

Photos via the LCC: 

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ISIS is reported to have taken responsibility for the Hasakah bombing via their semi-official Amaq News Agency.

However the terrorist group is yet to issue similar claims regarding the bombings in regime-held areas.

Meanwhile, the situation in Aleppo looks set to deteriorate again as regime-allied forces retook the strategically important Ramouseh artillery school in the west of the city.

The base was captured after a massive offensive by rebel forces at the beginning of last month.  

But both pro-rebel and pro-regime sources reported yesterday that the complex had fallen, following intense air and artillery strikes.

According to the LCC, a total of 57 people died in Syria yesterday.

Today, the network of activists reports continued Russian and regime air strikes in the Idlib province, battering the rebel-held towns of Maraat al-Numan and Saraqib.

At least one person was reported killed and “several wounded” after three Russian strikes in the former, which were, the LCC says, conducted with devastating thermobaric weapons. 

— Pierre Vaux