BEIRUT – The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has criticized the U.S. for undermining the Syrian government’s offensive against Islamic State fighters.
Russia on Wednesday called off much-anticipated talks with a senior U.S administration official in response to a fresh round of U.S. sanctions on Russia and expressed its disappointment over the U.S. shooting down a Syrian government jet earlier this week.
In an apparent reference to the downing of the jet, Lavrov told Tillerson in a phone call that the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday that it “violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and harms the task of fighting terrorists and progress in settling the Syria crisis.”
A senior Russian lawmaker says Russia is negotiating with two Central Asian nations about sending their troops to monitor a cease-fire in some areas of Syria.
State-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday quoted Vladimir Shamanov, head of the defense committee at the State Duma, as saying that Russia has asked Kazakhstan and…