Children fill containers with water in the rebel held al-Maadi district of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 31, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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Talks between senior U.S. and Russian officials on a broad cease-fire in Syria are likely to last into the weekend while fighting intensifies, U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said Thursday.In a separate negotiation, there was still hope of agreeing a weekly 48-hour truce in the divided northern city of Aleppo to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations, his humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said.The two negotiations reflect a desperate diplomatic effort to bring some calm amid an escalation of the five-year conflict, in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, as Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Saudi and U.S.-backed forces turn up the heat.Last week the long-besieged rebel-controlled town of Daraya surrendered in a deal with Syrian government-backed forces, and de Mistura said there was clearly a Damascus strategy to achieve similar deals in other besieged towns.
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