MILITARY

Officials: US, Russia to seek Syria deal in Geneva next week

In this frame grab provided by Russian Defence Ministry press service Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during an air strike over Syria on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Russia's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday Russian warplanes have taken off from a base in Iran and in Russia to target Islamic State fighters in Syria. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)

In this frame grab provided by Russian Defence Ministry press service Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during an air strike over Syria on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Russia's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday Russian warplanes have taken off from a base in Iran and in Russia to target Islamic State fighters in Syria. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. officials say the top American and Russian diplomats plan to meet next week in another bid to stop Syria's civil war and forge a counterterrorism partnership.

They say Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will gather in Geneva on Aug. 26. The talks could be two days.

The diplomacy comes amid fierce fighting in Aleppo, and new Russian bombing operations from an Iranian air base.

Moscow backs Syria's government. Washington supports "moderate" rebels.

But they've been discussing a partnership against mutual enemies: the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

Russia would have to halt government offensives. The U.S. needs rebels to break ranks with an al-Qaida spinoff that broke Aleppo's siege this month.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.