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U.S. to Russia: Syria military cooperation not guaranteed

More than 60 Syrian government soldiers were killed and dozens of others injured Saturday in US -led coalition air strikes on an air base in the east of the war-torn country, the Russian army said.

During the scheduled meeting, U.S. and Russian envoys were to present details of the joint agreement that calls for a ceasefire, the delivery of aid and joint targeting of Islamist rebels in Syria. A Syrian activist says Russian troops have deployed along a main road leading into besieged rebel-held neighborhoods of the northern city of Aleppo ahead of the possible arrival of aid convoys.

Meanwhile, Russia's deputy foreign minister said the future of Assad is an internal Syrian issue and the US-Russia agreement does not deal with it. He said the Syrian army has fully complied with the truce that went into force Monday, while the opposition units have violated it 144 times since then.

"Right now we are focused on the implementation of the agreement brokered by Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov, particularly the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach Syrians in need", a USA spokesperson said in a statement.

Laerke also clarified United Nations comments a day earlier, saying that the United Nations does not require authorization from Syria's government for cross-border aid deliveries under the terms of a Security Council resolution from 2014.

Russian Federation said on Thursday that Syrian armed forces were "fulfilling their obligations and have started a gradual withdrawal" from the route, but rebel groups did not appear to be carrying out a simultaneous pullback as agreed.

But Washington has warned Russian Federation that unless aid is delivered to Aleppo, it will not move ahead with the formation of the joint coordination center.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest accused Russian Federation of failing to use its influence with Assad to get humanitarian aid moved to the besieged areas.

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"This is a risky and bold attack against the Syrian state and army, and clear evidence that the United States and its allies support the terrorist group Daesh", the army statement reported by the SANA official news agency said, referring to IS.

State Department Spokesman John Kirby blamed the Syrian government for the holdup, which kept the trucks at a checkpoint at the Turkish border. Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that Russian Federation "is still using its influence" to make sure the agreement, hammered out between Russian Federation and the USA, stands.

The United States has been reluctant to release the details of the agreement, citing security concerns for some US-backed groups fighting in Syria.

Warplanes have been strafing or bombing rebel-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib, as well as positions north of the city of Homs and east of the city of Hama overnight, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Contrary to the rest of Syria, aid convoys will not need government pre-approval for accessing the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo.

The truce, agreed after US-Russia talks in Geneva last week, is part of the latest bid to end a five-year conflict that has killed more than 300,000 people.

A military source said Syria's army "has carried out its pledge and handed over a number of points to the Russian monitoring teams", but that rebel groups had not withdrawn from their positions.

If the ceasefire holds for seven days, Russian Federation and the U.S. would then coordinate military planning to destroy the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra militias.

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