US walks back Kerry’s statement on approving Syrian strikes

 

The State Department says the new cease-fire in Syria includes no provisions for the U.S. and Russia to approve Syrian government airstrikes.

Spokesman John Kirby’s clarification comes shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria could continue bombing operations against al-Qaida-linked militants as part of the truce, if Washington and Moscow agree.

The rapid reversal reflected the latest confusion from the cease-fire agreed to after a marathon negotiation Friday between Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

No written copy of the agreement has been made public. Descriptions by Kerry and Lavrov represent the only public explanation of what was agreed to.