Russia says it's edging closer to deal with US on Aleppo

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart following their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Syrian rebels had used temporary ceasefires in and around Aleppo to regroup and rearm.

Russia and the United States are close to starting joint operations against terrorists in Syria's Aleppo, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday. 'Step by step, we are coming closer to a plan - I'm only talking about Aleppo right now - that will enable us to start fighting together to establish peace in this very troubled land so that people can return to their homes.' Earlier on Monday, Steinmeier called on Russian Federation to lay down its weapons to allow humanitarian aid to reach the embattled city in northern Syria.

"We are in a very active phase of talks with our American counterparts both in Geneva and in Amman; we are frequently in touch with Washington", Shoigu told TV channel Rossiya 24 on Monday. According to Reuters, in the rebels' stronghold in the east of the city, an estimated 250,000 people are thought to live. This can not and must not continue.

Steinmeier, for his part, said it was necessary to stay on with the Minsk agreements.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the hardships faced by people in Aleppo could not be alleviated by announcing three-hour ceasefires.

A Syrian military official said the Syrian air force launched "precise airstrikes on groupings and movements of terrorist groups south and west of Aleppo" that resulted in the death of dozens of "terrorists". After regime forces captured the last rebel supply route into the east last month, the United Nations warned that food supplies there would last only until mid-August. It's important to stabilize the situation and "not give in to emotions", though Russia's ready to provide "irrefutable evidence" that Ukraine planned attacks in Crimea to destabilize the peninsula, he said.

'Russian-German relations are now going through a hard period, ' Lavrov said.

The talks took place after President Vladimir Putin threatened a "very serious" response last week when he accused Ukrainian agents of killing two Russian servicemen in Crimea, triggering the worst diplomatic standoff between the countries since the 2015 Minsk truce deal eased hostilities in the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Germany is urging Russian Federation and Ukraine to reduce tensions related to the annexed peninsula of Crimea as both countries dispute the circumstances over an alleged attack.

In mid-June, the Washington Post reported that the USA was allegedly seeking to create a joint headquarters with Russian Federation to share intelligence and conduct "synchronized" strikes on Islamists in Syria.

'It is not the case by a long shot that we like everything that happens there, especially not the behaviour in Syria.

"If we look at [their] nationalities. they would hardly know five cities in Syria by heart".