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US Mulling Options in Syria if Engagement With Russia Ends - State Dept.

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bankSituation in Syria
Situation in Syria - Sputnik International
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The United States is discussing alternative responses to the Syrian crisis in case Washington suspends cooperation with Russia, State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Kirby did not disclose details of those talks, but he said none of the ideas being discussed would be better for Syria’s people than an immediate, nationwide cessation of hostilities, delivery of humanitarian aid, and the resumption of political talks.

“Interagency conversations about other options and alternatives that might be available to us and to our partners continue,” Kirby stated when asked about possible US options in Syria in the event of disengagement with Moscow.

“There are other options that don’t revolve around the active diplomacy that the interagency [group] has discussed and has talked about, and those discussions are ongoing,” the spokesman added.

Kirby also said "Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and they will continue to lose resources, even perhaps more aircraft."

"The consequences are that the civil war will continue in Syria, that extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuum that are there in Syria to expand their operations to include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities," Kirby stated.

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon inside a trench in Al-Yadudah village, in Deraa Governorate, Syria July 8, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Earlier Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington is prepared to suspend engagement with Moscow in Syria unless Russia takes immediate steps to end Syrian operations in Aleppo and reinstate a ceasefire, according to the State Department.

A spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Office, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters on Wednesday that US-Russia cooperation in Syria is crucial to ending hostilities there.

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