The Latest: Russia blames rebels as Syria truce frays

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Russia has accused Syrian insurgents of violating a cease-fire it brokered with Washington after airstrikes were reported on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo.

Moscow laid the blame squarely on the opposition after activists reported the strikes Sunday, the first since the weeklong cease-fire went into effect.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in an emailed statement that both “terrorists and the opposition” are using the truce to “boost their forces and prepare for renewed hostilities.”

Konashenkov says Moscow still has not been able to get in touch with the U.S.-backed opposition to coordinate cease-fire efforts despite Washington’s assurances. He says the U.S. has not even tried to get the opposition to hold its fire.


6 p.m.

Syrian opposition activists are reporting the first airstrikes on rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo since a U.S. and Russian-brokered truce went into effect.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says warplanes fired four missiles on Sunday. The Syrian military had previously said it would adhere to the weeklong cease-fire until midnight Sunday.

The Local Coordination Committees, another monitoring group, says Sunday’s air raids targeted three neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. The LCC and the Observatory say a number of people were wounded in the air raids.

Both sides have reported dozens of violations since the truce went into effect Monday evening.


2:45 p.m.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is sharply criticizing the United States as being obstructive and deceptive regarding the airstrike by coalition warplanes on a Syrian military position that killed more than 60 soldiers.

A ministry statement on Sunday said that in an emergency U.N. Security Council session called following the airstrike, the United States took “an unconstructive and indistinct position.”

The Americans “not only turned out to be unable to give an adequate explanation of what happened, but also tried, as is their custom, to turn everything upside down,” the statement said.


11:45 a.m.

Syria’s state news agency is reporting that troops have regained control of areas they lost to the Islamic State group in the east of the country after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition.

SANA quotes an unnamed military official as saying Sunday that dozens of IS fighters were killed in the offensive under the cover of Syrian airstrikes.

The Syrian military official said government troops had regained control of areas the extremists captured, “as a result of the American aircraft aggression.”

The U.S. military said it may have unintentionally struck Syrian troops while carrying out a raid against IS on Saturday.

Russia’s military said it was told by the Syrian army that at least 62 soldiers were killed in the Deir el-Zour air raid and more than 100 wounded.