WASHINGTON There is an "urgent need" for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop violating the ceasefire in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, and called on Russia to help, the State Department said.
It said Kerry, in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said "The United States expected Russia to urge the regime to comply with the cessation and that we would work with the opposition to do the same."
The United States knows that some of the Syrian government actions in and around the city of Aleppo are being backed by Russian air strikes, State Depart spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing.
He said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that the United States was concerned about credible reports of violation in and around Aleppo, "and to the degree that they are aided and abetted by Russian air strikes - yes that's a matter of concern for us."
While urging Russia to press the Syrian government to stop the violations, Kerry "promised that we would do the same on our part for the opposition groups that we are supporting," the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish)
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