On the Current Situation in Syria
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
September 19, 2016
We’ve seen reports from various parties today about the status of the situation in Syria, seven days after the Geneva arrangement went into effect. That arrangement is clear: there must be increased and sustained access for the delivery of humanitarian supplies and seven days of adherence to the cessation of hostilities before we could take next steps on this arrangement, such as establishing the Joint Implementation Center (JIC).
Despite continued attacks by the regime on opposition positions, we have witnessed a measure of reduced violence over the last week. But we have not seen a sustained flow of relief supplies. Indeed, deliveries only began today and only then in limited areas.
We are prepared to extend the cessation of hostilities, while working to strengthen it and expand deliveries of assistance. We will be consulting with our Russian counterparts to continue to urge them to use their influence on Asad to these ends. While we have seen comments attributed to the Syrian military, our arrangement is with Russia, which is responsible for the Syrian regime’s compliance, so we expect Russia to clarify their position.