Conflict of interest between White House & Pentagon is why Syrian ceasefire failed – Assad adviser

Internal disagreements in the US as well as Washington’s support for terrorist groups in Syria are hampering peace efforts, President Assad’s Political and Media Adviser Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban told RT.

“If you go back to the Congress session on September 22, and to what Ashton Carter (the Defense Minister in the United States), and what [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Joseph Dunford said, and [Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee] John McCain, you will see that the ceasefire failed, and the agreement was not implemented because of the real differences and conflict of interest between the Pentagon and the White House,” said Dr. Shaaban.

The US is actively undermining counterterrorism efforts in the country, according to Assad’s adviser.

“I think that al-Nusra in Syria is absolutely protected by the United States, by Qatar, by Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” Shaaban said.“Reality shows the American coalition is not fighting terrorism in Syria.

"Every time we liberate any area from the terrorists, the United States raises the alarm. They do not want us to liberate Aleppo from the terrorists, they do not want us to liberate our country from the terrorists. They only reach a truce when they want to protect terrorists, and they want the terrorists can regather and rearm themselves so they stay occupying part of our land.”

Syria peace talks will be difficult because the US government and their allies “don’t honor any of their agreements.”

“If we take the latest example, they agreed on the September 9 to have a cessation of hostilities,” Shaaban said. “The Syrian government immediately agreed to the cessation of hostilities. All terrorist organizations refused to adhere to that, and yet the United States and even the UN did not say one word to describe the facts as they are. So we are in a situation where the United Nations and the United States do not say the truth about what’s happening in Syria.”

With tensions between the Russian and American governments growing and State Department spokesman John Kirby warning “Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags” if it does not back down, Dr. Shaaban responded that it is in fact the Americans who are escalating the conflict.

“The Americans could not fulfill any of their promises and any of their commitments about separating between terrorists and what they call the moderate opposition, so they are trying to raise the bar for the Russians in a show of force. They are only trying to support the terrorists in Syria,” she said.

Since September 2014 the US military, together with its local allies including Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, has been bombing targets belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as well as the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front. The Syrian government has repeatedly complained that it does not get consulted about these airstrikes.

Russian operations however, which started a year ago, are conducted with the full permission of the Syrian government.

When asked about a possible escalation of US military efforts in the country, Shaaban responded that this has been a concern of the Syrian government “from day one,” and that the American government continues to violate their sovereignty.

“The American planes have just killed over 80 soldiers in Deir ez-Zor. Yesterday they destroyed two bridges. They are carrying out their operation without the cooperation of the Syrian government, without coordinating their efforts with us,” Shaaban told RT.

In April the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the death toll in Syria stood at around 250,000 back in 2014. Since then, the UN stopped counting and now the figure stands closer to around 400,000, although this is merely an estimate.