NATO Chief: Syria cease-fire best basis for peace

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Syria's fragile cease-fire remains best the hope for ending the conflict.

Speaking in the Turkish capital, Ankara, he said the cease-fire was "under strain" but remains the "best basis for a negotiated, peaceful solution to the crisis."

Stoltenberg noted that Russia has maintained a "considerable military presence" in support of the Syrian government despite announcing a partial withdrawal.

A February cease-fire agreement between President Bashar Assad's government and rebel fighters, which excluded extremist factions like the Islamic State group, greatly reduced violence in Syria but has all but collapsed in the north of the country amid faltering peace talks in Geneva.