The US has put up with capture of Aleppo by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, supported by Russia. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry claims that this success on the battlefield would not change the dynamics of the Syrian war.
Capture of Aleppo by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, supported by Russia, would not change the fundamental dynamics of the internal armed conflict in Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, speaking at a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se in Washington.
“If Russia and [Syrian President Bashar] Assad succeed in taking Aleppo, the fundamental dynamic of this war does not change,” Kerry said. According to him, “if you do not have a political settlement [in Syria] you cannot have peace.”
“If they destroy most of Aleppo in order to ‘take’ it, what will that taking produce? Will it change the attitude of the people who have been driven out and the people who have been radicalized?” the US Secretary of State asked. “No. They will be even more determined to seek revenge and even less inclined to come to the table to negotiate.”
According to Kerry, scale-up of bombing in Aleppo would entail a “tightening of a position” of elements, opposed to Assad, with regard to potential peace talks because they would see repeated failures of these peace talks, as well as greater readiness of other sides of the conflict to drop bombs.
At the same time, the US Secretary of State noted that he does not nourish special hopes in regard to consultations on Syria, which began between Russian and American military experts in Geneva yesterday.
“I would say this: I’m not approaching this with a great high sense of expectation, and nothing is based on trust,” he said.
According Kerry, in fact, there is a “bargain” between Russia and the US in Geneva, the sides trying to find out what steps they are really ready to make and on what conditions.
“And if you both act simultaneously to do the same things, maybe you can get something to happen,” the diplomat noted.
Meanwhile, he also added that “every bomb that’s dropped by Russia and the Assad regime is radicalizing more and more people” in Syria.
Military experts from Russia, the US and a number of other countries are discussing issues of delimitation of terrorists and the ‘moderate’ opposition in eastern Aleppo, as well as issues of humanitarian pauses.
“It is expected that during the consultations the sides will exchange information, which is necessary to clearly define composition of groups in the city and conditions of their delimitation with the Jabhat Al-Nusra [also known as the Al-Nusra Front or the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham],” the TASS news agency quoted the words of an unnamed diplomatic source.
It is still unknown, how long the discussions, which take place behind closed doors for press, will last. Neither the timing, nor the place of holding, nor the participants are not disclosed.
As Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday, “there is a possibility of continuing the meeting also tomorrow.”
“Our delegation is ready to stay there in interests of achievement [of results] as long as necessary,” he noted.
Ryabkov also said that the issue of further humanitarian pauses in Aleppo will also be discussed by the military experts.
On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that on October 19, in Geneva, the military experts will start to work on delimitation of terrorists and the opposition in Aleppo. According to him, the Russian initiative on introduction of a humanitarian pause in Aleppo on October 20 “should contribute to success in the work of the military experts.”