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Clinton Applauds Syrian Cease-Fire Deal, Says Success Up To Russia

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has applauded a Syrian cease-fire deal brokered by the United States and Russia, but said its success is "up to the Russians."

The deal hammered out last week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is designed to pause the Syrian civil war long enough for the two powers to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid, restart long-stalled peace talks, and focus their air strikes on Islamic extremists taking advantage of the chaos created by the war.

The deal calls for Russia to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop shelling rebel-held areas and allow humanitarian aid to go in.

"Whether or not this works is really up to the Russians," Clinton told reporters in North Carolina.

"It is up to whether or not Vladimir Putin decides that it's time to do what the Russians can do to bring this conflict into a period where there can be the beginning of political discussions, a hoped-for protective zone for people who are under relentless assault from the air, and a commitment to going after the terrorist groups that pose a threat to everyone."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters