Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's offensive in Aleppo is helpful for neither the future of Syria nor the fight against Daesh, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
“Anything that further strengthens the hand of the Assad regime, we do not see as playing a helpful role in terms of not only ending the civil war in Syria, but bringing peace to Syria," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said. “It's one of the reasons ISIL formed in the first place."
Recent heavy bombardment of Assad forces in eastern Aleppo is tragic, Cook said.
“What we're seeing with the Syrian civil war for months play out is a tragedy," he added, calling on all sides in the nearly six-year war to reach a peaceful resolution.
Diplomatic talks ended in September after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed scores of Assad regime forces in the Syrian city of Deir Ez-Zour.
Denouncing the bloodshed in Aleppo, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. tried to achieve a cease-fire and provide humanitarian aid to besieged areas as a step toward a political settlement.
But he also acknowledged there has not been "any tangible progress" on the talks in Geneva.
Cook deflected an Anadolu Agency question about whether outgoing Secretary of Defense Ash Carter feels a moral obligation to stop the killing in Aleppo or force parties back to the negotiating table.
“That's [fight against Daesh] been what this president has asked Secretary Carter to carry out and we're doing that to the best of our abilities," he said.
Secretary of State John Kerry will travel next week to Rome and Vatican City for bilateral talks on regional issues, including Syria.
Syrian regime forces have recently stepped up attacks on opposition-held parts of eastern Aleppo in an effort to retake the city and advance on Idlib, one of the Syrian opposition's last strongholds.
Since mid-November, more than 643 civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured in the regime's offensive, according to figures released by local civil defense officials.