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Russia and the US Are Now Working Together to Monitor the Syria Ceasefire

Finally the US has come on board for a permanent US-Russian monitoring center in Geneva

Holly Yan for CNN reports: U.S. and Russian military members will work together at a monitoring center in Geneva, Switzerland to keep tabs on the so-called cessation of hostilities in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"Now we will have a permanent monitoring center where U.S. and Russian counterparts will be sitting at the same table," Lavrov said Tuesday in a joint news conference with Staffan de Mistura, the U.N.'s special envoy to Syria.

"They will be looking at the same maps. They will be analyzing proposals, and they will work together to make sure that any violations are nipped in the bud. Probably this is a major step forward toward a more intensive coordination of the efforts by Russia and the U.S."

While Russia efficiently backs the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. administration blames him for deaths of civilians in opposition areas. De Mistura expressed his proudness regarding the fact that the U.N. managed to quickly establish a sophisticated operations center, involving both Russian and U.S. sides.

The special envoy said the operations center could help contain violence "through the influence each side can have. And I believe that can also be an experiment for the future, if this, as I hope, will be working," he added. But every day, the violence in Syria continues unabated.

Yan continues: “The city of Aleppo, once Syria's bustling cultural and economic hub, is now a war-torn wasteland. Hospitals lay in ruins, reduced to rubble in attacks blamed on government forces and rebels. Aleppo has seen "catastrophic deterioration" in recent days, said Jan Egeland, chairman of the U.N. task force on humanitarian access in Syria.”

The latest attack on a pediatric hospital in Aleppo resulted in tens of deaths; however, Russia, U.S. and Syrian forces have denied their involvement in the incident. "The bottom line is there is no justification for this horrific violence that targets civilians or medical facilities or first responders no matter who it is, whether it's a member of the opposition retaliating or the regime in its brutality against the civilians which has continued for five years," Kerry said.

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