World

Newest peace plan: U.S., U.K. weighing new sanctions on Syria, Russia

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry give a joint press conference after a meeting on the situation in Syria at Lancaster House in London on October 16, 2016. The United States and Britain warned today that western allies were considering imposing sanctions against economic targets in Syria and Russia over the siege of Aleppo. / AFP / POOL / JUSTIN TALLIS

With military options all but eliminated, the United States and Britain on Sunday said they are considering new sanctions to pressure the Syrian and Russian governments to halt an offensive against rebel-held parts of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. While the close allies said diplomacy was their primary focus, the tone was tougher than Saturday's message from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after he launched a new diplomatic effort to resolve the 5½-year civil war. But the threats brandished Sunday — from harsher economic penalties to international prosecution for alleged perpetrators of war crimes — weren't new.

I haven't seen a big appetite from governments in Europe to declare war.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

The talks on Saturday involved diplomats from France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union. All oppose Syrian President Bashar Assad's long-term control over his country and all are angry over a year-old Russian military intervention that has contributed to thousands of deaths and harrowing scenes of destruction in Aleppo. Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson emerged from the discussions declaring that all options are on the table to stop the bloodshed.

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Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria in which international interventions have taken place. The war grew out of the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring and escalated to armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad's government violently repressed protests calling for his removal.