The Obama administration opened a two-front campaign on Syria on Thursday with a push to end one war there and step up another.
The United States, Russia and more than a dozen other nations with interests in the Syria conflict, including Iran, gathered to try to agree on a cease-fire in the for the civil war that might resuscitate stalled peace talks.
Amid deep differences between the U.S. and Russia over the timing and conditions of the truce — and a bitter argument over who is to blame for bombing civilian areas around Aleppo, a rebel stronghold — the International Syria Support Group opened talks with no sign of an imminent breakthrough.
The Russian Ministry of Defense rejected a Pentagon claim that Russian aircraft hit two hospitals in Aleppo and contended that U.S. aircraft had operated over the city Wednesday.
Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russian jets hit targets near Aleppo, and that two U.S. A-10 ground attack jets had flown from Turkey to attack Aleppo.
U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren, the Baghdad spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against IS, called the Russian claim “a fabrication” and said the incident was an example of Russia’s “indiscriminate” use of force.