With little chance for a breakthrough, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to both sides to allow humanitarian aid to reach the civilian population.
Millions of people have been displaced in the civil war and one-third of the country remains out of government hands. But the Syrian regime is holding local elections across the country to show strength and normalcy.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Sergei Lavrov met in Berlin to discuss their roles in Syria. Germany promised reconstruction help if Russia kept President Assad from launching an offensive in opposition-held Idlib.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have agreed to forge a demilitarized zone between rebels and Syrian government forces in Syria's Idlib region.
Russia's Vladimir Putin has taken a more conciliatory tone, after his Defense Ministry held Israel "completely" accountable for a jet shot down over Syria. Putin spoke of "a chain of tragic accidental circumstances."
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