The State Department on Tuesday downplayed the failure to launch talks on a political transition in Syria by Aug. 1, by saying Monday's date was always just a "target" and not a firm "deadline" that has been missed.

Spokesman John Kirby also indicated that there would be no immediate ramification or change in strategy now that the U.S., Russia and other parties have failed to launch the effort on time. Instead, he indicated the effort would continue at least in the short term, and said the U.S. is hopeful the process can continue.

"I've seen reporting on this that would suggest that there was some sort of gauntlet thrown down about Aug. 1, and that's just not the case," spokesman John Kirby told reporters. "It was not a deadline, it was a target date."

Kirby indicated that the failure to meet the deadline shouldn't be laid at the feet of the U.S., and said both the U.S. and Russia agreed to shoot for Aug. 1 to start talks on transitioning to new Syrian leadership by then.

Since then, however, the U.S. has complained that Russia has done little to help reduce the violence in Syria, and instead has actively bombed targets in coordination with Syrian President Bashar Assad. U.S.-backed groups have said they can't agree to talks while that campaign continues.

Kirby on Tuesday only hinted at the frustration the Obama administration has toward Russia, which Secretary of State John Kerry made clear on Monday. Kerry said fighting in Syria has made it "impossible" to start political talks, and said it's "critical" for Russia to do all it can to help create conditions for talks.

But he said Russia has so far fallen far short of that goal. "And the evidence thus far is very, very troubling to everybody," Kerry said of Russia's actions.

Kirby seemed to downplay the issue Tuesday by citing "technicalities" that are getting in the way of political talks in Syria, and said the effort would continue for now.

"We have the potential of a resumption of political talks here in August, we have two teams that are working very, very hard between the United States and Russia to try to get some of these technicalities worked out," he said, referring to groups of U.S. and Russian officials.

But Kirby said he wouldn't be throwing out any new target dates to start political talks in Syria.

"I don't have a new date for you, and again, Aug. 1 was a target, it wasn't a deadline," he said. "I'm not going to throw out a new target."

On Monday, Kerry said no one will "sit around and allow this pretense to continue," but Kirby was unable to say what that meant, or whether it meant the U.S. might soon abandon its current plan and find another. He said Kerry's message on Monday was, "in essence, our patience is not infinite."

But he also declined to say whether the U.S. would run out of patience with Russia in the next few months, before the Obama administration's time is up.

"I don't, honestly, know the answer to that, and I don't think the secretary knows the answer to that," Kirby said.