September 19, 2016 / 8:36 PM / 3 years ago

Syrian opposition figure says ceasefire never took hold

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The coordinator of Syria’s main opposition group said on Monday that a ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia never took hold and called on the world to put an end to the “criminality” of the Syrian government.

“There was no ceasefire to begin with for us to say whether it failed or succeeded,” Riad Hijab, general coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee, told reporters.

His comments came after the Syrian military declared that a week-long ceasefire was over and air raids hit aid trucks near the city of Aleppo.

Speaking after reiterating the opposition’s vision for a Syria post-President Bashar al-Assad, Hijab said there had been countless U.N. resolutions and efforts to bring an end to “Syrian bloodshed” but that there had been nothing to show for it.

“The world is just watching. Enough is enough. The world has to abide by its responsibilities to bring an end to the criminality of the regime,” said Hijab, a former prime minister under Assad.

Monzer Makhous, a spokesman for the HNC, said it was clear the ceasefire was not being respected, although he did not want to call it completely dead.

“There is a tiny hope,” he said.

Anas Abdah, the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, said ultimately Russia was responsible for the truce’s failure.

“The regime does not respect the terms and conditions of the truce. Unfortunately, Russia also does not respect it and that must have basically given the regime the go-ahead for these violations,” Abdah told Reuters.

Abdah added that he believed Moscow was not interested in any kind of agreement to begin with and had not been seeking a political solution. This, he said, had been compounded by the United States not “flexing its muscles.”

“I don’t know whether this is because we’re in a lame duck period in the political landscape in the United States,” he said.

Reporting by Yara Bayoumy and John Irish; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish

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