Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "The continued assault by Syrian regime forces -- enabled by Russian airstrikes -- against opposition-held areas, as well as regime and allied militias’ continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have clearly signaled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one.

"We call upon the regime and its supporters to halt their bombardment of opposition-held areas, especially in Aleppo, and to lift their besiegement of civilians in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2165, 2254 and 2258. It is past time for them to meet existing obligations and restore the international community’s confidence in their intentions of supporting a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis.

"We look forward to the resumption of talks later this month, as outlined by Special Representative de Mistura. During this pause, the world needs to push in one direction -- toward stopping the oppression and suffering of the Syrian people and ending, not prolonging, this conflict."