Russia, US military to meet over Syria ceasefire on Friday

Russia says decisions on a no-fly zone over Syria are not possible without UN and Syrian government agreement

The Russian foreign ministry said Russian and US military officials will take part in the first meeting on Friday of a working group to discuss implementation of a ceasefire in Syria, Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.

Russian deputy foreign ministry Gennady Gatilov added that decisions on a no-fly zone over Syria are not possible without agreement of the Syrian government and United Nations.

“The implementation of the agreement reached in Munich on a peaceful resolution in Syria has already begun,” Gatilov was quoted as saying.

Asked to comment on Germany's suggestion of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria he said: "No decision about any no-fly zones can be made without the agreement of the host country and the relevant decision of the UN Security Council. "

Ealier this week Turkey accused Russia of behaving like a "terrorist organisation" and warned it to expect an "extremely decisive response" if it continued a bombing campaign in northern Syria that is allegedly targeting civilians and forcing thousands to flee.

On a visit to Ukraine on Monday, Turkey's prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Russian war planes had bombed a school and a children's hospital in the town of Azaz, a Syrian rebel stronghold near Turkey's border, killing at least 14 people.

“If Russia continues behaving like a terrorist organisation and forcing civilians to flee, we will deliver an extremely decisive response,” he said. “Unfortunately, barbaric attacks on civilians are continuing in Syria and these attacks are being waged by both Russia and terrorist groups”.

“Russia and other terrorist organisations – first and foremost Islamic State in Syria – are responsible for numerous crimes against humanity,” he added.

Tension between Ankara and Moscow has soared since the Kremlin launched air strikes in Syria in late September to support government ground forces, and a Turkish jet shot down a Russian bomber over the Turkey-Syria border in November.

Reuters