Putin Obama
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) looks back at US President Barack Obama as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping at an APEC Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake, in Beijing.Reuters

Russia and the United States have agreed to work towards "closer military cooperation" in an attempt to bring to an end the conflict in Syria, the Kremlin has announced. The agreement was made after Russia's President Vladimir Putin called US President Barack Obama.

The United Nations (UN) would also need to be involved to broker a long-term peace deal for the war-torn country, said Moscow.

"Both sides have confirmed their readiness to increase military cooperation between Russia and the US in Syria," said the Kremlin statement, according to Russia Today. "It is also important to resurrect the UN-mediated peace talks to arrive at a political solution of the crisis."

During their phone call, Putin reportedly urged Obama to make a clearer distinction between moderates in Syria and the al-Nusra Front, which both the US and Russia regard as a terrorist organisation.

Al-Nusra Front are aligned with al-Qaeda but according to the Kremlin the US had sometimes asked Russia not to target the group because they were in the same place as the moderate opposition.

In June 2016 US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, said that on some occasions targeting the Nusra Front harmed other groups as well as civilians. "Of course we support strikes focused solely on either Daesh or Al Nusra," said Toner, reported the AP). "But that a greater effort, a more complete effort needs to be made in order to distinguish between Al Nusra and the parties to the cessation."

Up to 400,000 people have died in the five-year Syria conflict, with millions more displaced both within the country and overseas. A ceasefire is currently in place to mark Eid but it is unclear if attacks on the Nusra Front and Isis have also been suspended. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed the Syrian regime violated the ceasefire on Wednesday (6 July) when it attacked rebel-held areas of Aleppo.