20:02 Oct. 7, 2016
It seems US State Secretary gave up trying to solve Syrian problem by agreement with Russia
Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for Russia and Syria to face a war crimes investigation for their attacks on Syrian civilians, further illustrating the downward spiral in relations between Washington and Moscow, AP reports.
Kerry said Syrian forces hit a hospital overnight, killing 20 people and wounding 100, describing what would be the latest strike by Moscow or its ally in Damascus on a civilian target.
"Russia and the (al-Assad - UT) regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children," Kerry told reporters alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who arrived in Washington directly from meeting Russian officials in Moscow.
Kerry said such acts "beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes."
"They are beyond the accidental now, way beyond," Kerry said in some of his toughest criticism to date. He accused Russia and Syria of undertaking a targeted strategy to "terrorize civilians."
As Kerry and Ayrault spoke at the State Department, Russia's lower house of parliament ratified a new treaty with Syrian regime that would allow Russia's military to remain indefinitely in the Arab country. The vote was unanimous, a show of support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.
Kerry's Sept. 9 agreement with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would have created a new counterterrorism alliance in Syria, had fighting stopped for a week and aid deliveries been permitted to reach desperate civilians in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and other besieged areas. But neither condition was ever met. The truce then broke completely when Syria and Russia renewed their military offensive in Aleppo. Kerry ended bilateral discussions with Russia on the military partnership earlier this week.
As reported, one of the previous Russian bombardments of the hospitals was denounced as a war crime by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. Later UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called Putin's deeds 'unquestionably a war crime'.