The United States
, Russia and other key players involved in the Syria peace process are set to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, a US spokesman says.
Twenty foreign ministers from the so-called International Syria Support Group would meet after Damascus announced the end of a recently implemented truce in the country, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Monday.
The meeting “will be, obviously, a very important signals check for the members of this group to assess the agreement, the state of the agreement that was reached with the US and Russia a little over a week ago,” Toner said.
Toner noted that the collapse of a week-long ceasefire would top the agenda of the discussion.
The meeting would also help decide “where we are and what next steps need to be taken and where we need to see more improvement,” he added.
On Monday, Damascus announced the conclusion of the ceasefire, saying the accord was continuously breached by militant groups.
A general view shows destroyed buildings in Jouret al-Shiah neighborhood of the central Syrian city of Homs on September 19, 2016. (AFP)
The militants “did not commit to a single element” of the deal, Damascus said in a statement.
The truce aimed to allow humanitarian access and joint attacks against militant groups, which were not covered by the agreement, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
On Monday, Russia criticized the US for not doing enough to rein in militants in Syria to protect the deal, saying continued violations of the ceasefire by militants made it “senseless” for Damascus to stick to the agreement.
In response, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia should have first consulted Washington before publicly declaring the ceasefire “pointless.”
Russian officials said Monday that monitors in Syria had registered 53 ceasefire violations across the country over the past 24 hours.
The Russian Defense Ministry said there had been reports that elements from the so-called moderate Syrian opposition were merging with terrorists to carry out large-scale attacks against government forces.