Russia, US to intensify Syria coordination: Kremlin

The Kremlin has announced that Russia and the US are prepared for better coordination efforts on dealing with Takfiri terrorism in Syria.

“The two parties have confirmed their desire to intensify coordination between the Russian and American militaries in Syria,” said a statement released by the Kremlin on Wednesday.

“It is also important to resurrect the UN-mediated peace talks to arrive at a political solution of the crisis,” it added.

The announcement was made following a Russia-initiated phone call between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin called on his counterpart to separate, as soon as possible, the definitions of moderate forces from the al-Nusra Front and other extremist groups,” the statement added.

Moscow has long insisted that the so-called moderate opposition groups in Syria should leave the areas held by terrorists, which are targeted in the Russian air campaign.

Claiming it is unable to remove the opposition groups, Washington, however, has called on Moscow not to carry out airstrikes against the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front terrorist group.

Relations between Moscow and Washington hit its post-Cold War low, after Crimea re-integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.

Russia and the US support opposing sides in Syria’s five-year-old conflict. Washington’s military intervention in Syria without authorization from the Damascus government deteriorated the already strained relations with Russia.

The US and its allies have also been carrying out airstrikes in Syria purportedly against Daesh positions since September 2014. According to a Washington Post report, the Obama administration is now looking to partner with Moscow in the fight against terrorists.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-34 bomber lands at the Russian Khmeimim military base in Latakia province, northwestern Syria, on December 16, 2015. (AFP)

Since September 2015, Russia has also been conducting airstrikes against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at the Syrian government’s request.

‘Harbinger for longer-lasting’ ceasefire deals

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry voiced hopes that a 72-hour truce in Syria was “a harbinger” for further longer-lasting ceasefire deals.

Earlier, the Syrian army declared a unilateral 72-hour armistice across the country on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (front, 1st right) visits a church with Georgian youth representatives in Tbilisi on July 6, 2016. (AFP)

“We very much welcome the Syrian army declaration of 72-hours of quiet,” said Kerry at a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, adding that discussions were currently underway to extend the truce.

“We are trying very hard to grow these current discussions into a longer-lasting,… enforceable, accountable cessation of hostilities that could change the dynamics on the ground,” he noted.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

By Press TV