United Nations warns of 'merciless abyss' in besieged eastern Aleppo

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S.is "on the verge" of suspending diplomatic talks with Russian Federation over Syria because of Moscow's continued aerial bombardment of the city of Aleppo.

The United States warned Thursday that it is on the brink of ending talks with Russian Federation over the assault on Aleppo, where the United Nations says a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding unlike any witnessed so far in Syria's brutal five-year war.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman says a US refusal to cooperate with Russia on Syria would be a gift to "terrorists".

Since last week, following the collapse of the latest truce attempt brokered by the USA and Moscow, Syrian and Russian aircraft have waged a major air campaign in rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

With the forces of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies bombing the rebel-held city of Aleppo into rubble, Secretary of State John Kerry finally played his hole card: a threat to stop talking to Vladimir Putin - who couldn't care less.

"It's looking like Russian Federation and the U.S. are going to decide to keep (Syrian President Bashar) Assad in power", Renad Mansour, an expert on Syria at Chatham House told The Media Line.

The options being weighed are limited in number and stop well short of any large-scale commitment of USA troops, which Obama, who has only four months left in office, has long rejected, the officials said.

"We have a couple of times suggested 48-hour pauses in order to ensure humanitarian access", Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister of Russian Federation, told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.

On a related note, Poznikhir pointed out that "It became known that terrorist groups are preparing provocative attacks with chemical weapons on Syrian army positions and residential areas in the east part of Aleppo to accuse government forces [of the attacks]". The day that the ultimatum passed, the USA government "outlined no change in its Syria policy", the Associated Press reported.

The U.N.'s humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council that the conditions in eastern Aleppo, which is besieged and assaulted by all sides by government forces, had descended into the "merciless abyss of humanitarian catastrophe".

Igor Konashenkov, Russia's defence ministry spokesman, said the "opposition supposedly waging civil war in Syria is a global terrorist 'international [Group]' under control of the US".

US Ambassador Samantha Power described the escalation as "the most savage week we've seen in an incredibly savage five-plus-year war", with more than 1,000 people killed by 1,700 air strikes on rebel-held east Aleppo alone. She's right: For days, Russian and Syrian planes have rained bombs - including white phosphorus, cluster munitions and "bunker-busters" created to penetrate basements - on the rebel-held side of the city. -Russian bilateral engagement in Syria unless Russia moves to end the Aleppo assault.

Assad opponents German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after speaking by phone that Russian Federation has a "special responsibility to calm violence and give a political process a chance" in Syria.

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