Moscow on Thursday, 29 September, said Russian jets would continue to bomb rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo in Syria, dismissing warnings from the US.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian air force would continue to support the Syrian army. He also urged Washington to deliver on its promise to separate moderate rebels from terrorists.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had previously warned that the US was on the verge of calling off talks with Russia over Syria. He said at a conference in Washington, "It's irrational, in the context of the kind of bombing taking place, to be sitting there, trying to take things seriously. There is no notion or indication of seriousness of purpose with what is taking place right now."

Russia responded by saying that a refusal to co-operate would be a gift to terrorists.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced what they said were "barbarous" attacks by Russia and Syrian forces in eastern Aleppo. The leaders agreed that Moscow and Damascus "bear special responsibility for ending the fighting in Syria," strongly decrying the attacks in eastern Aleppo, an area they said was "populated with hundreds of thousands of civilians, half of whom are children."

The UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura told AFP news agency after meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, "At the moment, when bombs are falling all over, it is very difficult to justify resuming talks."

He went on to say, "We are in a very critical moment, that's why it is so essentially urgent to have the voice of people with the moral authority of the pope about the fact that there is no military solution.You can't bomb your way to peace in Syria."

The statement comes despite Ankara saying it would like to restart the truce process. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara, "We have to try harder for a ceasefire and political resolution. If Russia is prepared to cooperate with us on the ceasefire and humanitarian aid, we are more than ready."

The burnt sign of the emergency section of a field hospital is pictured after an air strike in the rebel-held al-Maadi neighbourhood of Aleppo Abdalrhman Ismail/ Reuters