“It’s just not possible, as a practical matter, for him to continue to run the country,” spokesman Josh Earnest said, referring to Assad. “Russia shares this assessment.”
The announcement comes as Syria’s warring parties wrangle over the specifics of a critical humanitarian agreement for access to Syria’s besieged Aleppo.Separate parts of the city have been besieged by either Syrian government forces or opposition fighters, leading to mounting concerns over the welfare of hundreds of thousands of trapped civilians in pre-war Syria’s largest city.
The UN’s humanitarian chief pleaded with the Security Council earlier this week to intervene in Aleppo.The UN submitted to Syrian authorities a request to reach nearly 1 million residents in August, but received approval for less than half of the requested locations, and not a single aid convoy has moved in August, Stephen O’Brien told the Council.
The U.S. has urged Moscow to use its leverage with the Syrian government to get Damascus to “live up to the commitments that they’ve made in the context of the cessation of hostilities, and actually pursue the kind of U.N.-led talks that will lead to the political transition that even the Russians acknowledge is necessary,” Earnest said.