Syrian ceasefire extended to embattled city of Aleppo

The United States and Russian Federation have persuaded Syria's government and moderate rebels to extend the country's fragile truce to the northern city of Aleppo, although sporadic clashes continue, US officials said Wednesday.

Beyond what the State Department said was the newly agreed Aleppo truce, Russian Federation and the United States - co-chairs of an global cease-fire task force - have agreed to expand their military cooperation in monitoring alleged violations throughout Syria.

Washington and Moscow have announced a new joint center in Geneva to monitor the ceasefire, to be staffed around the clock by USA and Russian officers.

The surge in bloodshed in Aleppo, Syria's largest city before the civil war and biggest strategic prize, wrecked the first major "cessation of hostilities" agreement of the war, sponsored by Washington and Moscow, which had held since February.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, will also meet United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura and Syrian opposition leader Riad Hijab in Berlin to discuss efforts to end the five-year war, which has left more than 270,000 people dead.

"It is simply physically impossible for Assad to just carve out an area and pretend that he's somehow going to make it safe while the underlying issues are unresolved in this war".

Britain's Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said: "Aleppo is burning ... and its civilians are being killed".

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said the fighting was "the most violent in Aleppo in over a year".

He said he expected a meeting of the International Syrian Support Group, a grouping of foreign ministers of European and Middle Eastern government chaired by Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to meet within the next two weeks.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), now controlling parts of it.

Meanwhile, France will host talks next week with the Saudi, Qatari, Turkish and UAE foreign ministers on the breakdown in the Syrian peace process, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said on Wednesday.

Toner said Washington and Moscow would monitor the truce closely.

Three people were killed on Wednesday in renewed shelling by Syrian rebels of government-held areas in Aleppo. A US military official told CNN that USA forces were not operating in the area of the hospital. It western part, which gives shelter to most of its residents and is home to Syrian Christians, is controlled by the Syrian government army whereas its eastern part is controlled by about twenty armed groups.

Pro-opposition activists confirmed that report, adding that government forces regained control of a former shopping centre that had become a new front line with rebel fighters in the western part of the city.

A man carries a young girl who was injured in a reported barrel-bomb attack by government forces on June 3 in Kallaseh district in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria.

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