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U.S. Official: Russian Air Strikes In Syria Increasing Despite Truce

U.S. military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren (file photo)U.S. military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren (file photo)
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U.S. military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren (file photo)
U.S. military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren (file photo)
By RFE/RL

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. military spokesman said Russia has not decreased the tempo of its air campaign in Syria, despite a cease-fire agreement due to take effect this week. 

Russia, the United States, Turkey, and other countries reached a deal for a cessation of hostilities in the Syrian conflict, to begin February 18. 

But Colonel Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for U.S. forces in the region, said that Russia doesn’t appear to have begun preparations to halt its airstrikes, which have bolstered the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

He told reporters on February 17: "There has been no lessening of the intensity of the Russian and the [Syrian] regime air campaign…. If anything it's increased."

Russia insists that its campaign is aimed at rooting out terror groups, but the United States and its allies say the strikes have also hit moderate Syria groups that oppose Assad's regime. 

Recent strikes on the city of Aleppo have sent tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing toward the border with Turkey.
 

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