The U.S. State Department announced Monday that talks with Russia regarding the Syrian cease-fire have come to a halt. "The United States is suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain the cessation of hostilities," State spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. "This is not a decision that was taken lightly."
Just a week ago, Secretary of State John Kerry warned this may happen after Russia, backed by the Syrian government, bombed the city of Aleppo, endangering civilians and damaging water supplies and one of the city's hospitals. The bombing came as the U.S. and Russia had agreed to work together to reduce violence and enable aid access while also battling terrorist groups. The attack, Kirby said, indicated Russia had "failed to live up to its own commitments" and had instead "chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the cessation of hostilities."
While the U.S. will continue to communicate with Russia to "avoid accidental military interactions," Reuters reported the U.S. will withdraw all personnel it had sent to establish a coordinated military effort with Russia.