US, Russia fail to reach Syria ceasefire deal

Russian President Vladmir Putin and United States President Barack Obama.

The United States and Russia came up short on Sunday in attempts to finalise a ceasefire deal in Syria, as US President Barack Obama said “grave differences” remained and fighting on the ground continued.

Russia and the US have been striving for weeks to secure a ceasefire between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and moderate rebels that would expand humanitarian access to hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire.

According to AlJazeera, the strategy has hinged on an unlikely US-Russian militarily partnership against “extremist groups” operating in Syria. But beyond the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, Moscow and Washington have conflicting views about who fits in that category.