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Syria ceasefire under pressure after US-led strikes reportedly kill soldiers

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Syria ceasefire under pressure after US-led strikes reportedly kill soldiers

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Will Syria’s shaky ceasefire survive this latest setback? US-led coalition air strikes reportedly killed dozens of Syrian soldiers on Saturday, putting the truce in jeopardy.

America expressed regret and said the attacks were stopped against what it believed to be ISIL positions after Russia reported that military personnel may have been hit.

Russia demanded an emergency UN Security Council meeting, a move criticised by US ambassador Samantha Power.

“If what ambassador Power has done today is any indication of their possible reaction then we are in serious trouble,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters.

“But I do hope that they’ll find a way to convince us and everybody else that they are serious about political settlement in Syria, that they are serious about fighting terrorists.”

Syria’s army said the US-led strikes were “conclusive evidence” of US support or ISIL, calling them “dangerous and blatant aggression.”

Power lashed out at Russia, questioning its motives over the Syrian crisis.

“The Assad regime has been intentionally striking civilian targets with horrifying, predictable regularity,” she said.

“And yet in the face of none of these atrocities has Russia expressed outrage nor has it demanded investigations nor has it ever called for a Saturday night emergency consultation in the Security Council.”

When asked if Saturday’s incident ended the Syria ceasefire deal, Churkin said “this is a very big question mark.”

The truce – which took effect on Monday – has been undermined by accusations of violations on both sides and a failure to get aid into communities.

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