US officials discuss options of non-diplomatic response to the failure of the ceasefire in Syria and warn Moscow that in the case of continuation of the operation in Syria, Russia would continue “to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft.”
Spokesman for the US Department of State John Kirby said that Moscow would continue “to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources,” if does not “stop the violence” in Syria. According to him, in the case of continuation of the conflict, extremists may exploit the situation to attack Russian cities, in addition, “more Russian aircraft will be shot down.”
“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities,” Kirby said at a daily briefing.
Answering questions of correspondents, the spokesman for the US Department of State said that the US has influence on some Syrian armed groups, but not on all of them.
“There are other nations that have influence. We have admitted that not all opposition groups on every single day have abided by it, and we have continued to work with them on that,” Kirby said.
At the same time, commenting on Moscow’s statement that the Russian Aerospace Forces strike the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front or the Jabhat al-Nusra), he said that the Russian air power attacks only facilities of the civilian infrastructure and hospitals.
The spokesman for the US Department of State also noted that US officials have discussed options of non-diplomatic response to the failure of the ceasefire in Syria.
However, he did not specify what kinds of options are discussed. According to him, US officials, involved in interagency discussions on national security, have discussed other options, “not revolving around the diplomacy’, regarding the response to the situation in Syria.
The day before, spokesman for the White House, Josh Earnest, said that the US may impose new sanctions against Russia due to the situation in Syria. Spokesman for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, said that the statement of Earnest caused deep misunderstanding in the Kremlin.
On September 28, during a telephone conversation, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington could freeze cooperation with Russia on Syria if Moscow does not take immediate actions to stop the offensive in the area of Aleppo.
“The US Secretary of State stressed that the US and its allies believe that Russia is responsible for this situation, including the use of incendiary and bunker-busting bombs in the city that is a great risk for the civilian population,” Kirby noted.
In its turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the US must fulfill its commitments to delimit the opposition and terrorist groups, as well as to stop to treat extremists with indulgence.
Meanwhile, on September 28, the Reuters news agency reported about the delivery of surface-to-surface rocket launchers to Syrian ‘moderate’ opposition groups from several foreign states, supposedly, the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, which is a key partner of Washington in the region. The US Department of State declined to comment on these reports.