On Monday, the United States suspended diplomatic relations with Russia on Syria after weeks of back and forth. At about the same time, Moscow halted their cooperation on a joint program for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry warned his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that the U.S. was prepared to end Syrian talks if the Kremlin wouldn’t stop dropping bombs on civilian targets in Aleppo following a failed U.S.-Russian ceasefire. Just five days later, the U.S. followed through on Kerry’s threat.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” State Department spokesman John Kirby stated. “Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments … and was also either unwilling or unable to ensure Syrian regime adherence to the arrangements to which Moscow agreed.” He went on:
“Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the Cessation of Hostilities, as demonstrated by their intensified attacks against civilian areas, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need, including through the September 19 attack on a humanitarian aid convoy.”
According to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told correspondents that “everybody’s patience with Russia has run out,” and that there’s “nothing more for the U.S. and Russia to discuss.”
(Via ABC News)