n Monday, Russian senior defense official Vyachleslav Dzirkaln said that Moscow will stop selling weapons to Syria until tensions in the war-ravaged country ease up. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and opposition groups should be forced to enter negotiations. "I am convinced that we must do everything possible to force the conflicting sides to find a peaceful political solution," Putin said in a televised statement. A Syrian activist group claims the death toll in the nearly year-and-a-half-old conflict just surpassed 17,000.
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