ALEPPO – The Syrian military has announced a new offensive to retake the rebel-held city Aleppo, where a quarter of a million people are living under siege.

In a statement, the military operations command called on residents to stay away from the positions of terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, forty-five people were killed when jets pounded rebel positions in the city.

The development came as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed the United States for truce collapse in Syria. He said US lacked the will to join forces with Russia in fighting extremists.

In an interview with the Associate Press news agency, he rejected US accusations that Syrian or Russian planes struck an aid convoy in Aleppo which killed some 20 aid workers.

On the other side, fresh talks between the US and Russia on reviving the collapsed ceasefire in Syria have broken up without progress in New York.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold another crisis meeting today to find ways for peace in Syria.