‘No evidence John Kerry is interested in peace in Syria’ – Virginia senator
The US claims the Russian military campaign in Syria has achieved next to nothing. Moreover, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia and Syria have rejected diplomacy when it comes to solving the Syrian crisis.
However, a few days ago The New York Times published recordings proving Kerry’s interest in toppling the Assad government.
RT: Are you surprised by John Kerry’s claims that it’s Russia and Syria who rejected diplomacy, even though there these leaked recordings suggest he backs greater American military force in Syria?
Richard Black: I think there is a very little indication here that John Kerry desires anything other than toppling the legitimate government of Syria. If you look at it going all the way back to when ISIS took control of Mosul with a vast store of American weapons, the US did not intervene to interdict those weapons at all and they all floated into Syria. The US permitted ISIS to run 2,000 oil tankers in and out of Turkey. It wasn’t until Russia came in that they were knocked out. The American-led coalition permitted a vast army to travel across the desert to seize Palmyra. I believe that it was their intention that if they should succeed perhaps they can go from Palmira to Damascus.
We were prepared to have all of Syria subjected to the gruesome horrors of ISIS in order to topple the government of Syria. I see no evidence whatsoever that Secretary Kerry is genuinely interested in peace. If you look at what happened - two days prior to the time the peace arrangements were supposed to take place, the US launched an hour-long area bombardment at Deir ez-Zor. I would like to think that this was accidental. But the fact is that the battle lines at Deir ez-Zor were very static – that was not a rapidly moving battlefield; and the aircraft that dropped the bombs were GPS directed.
Not only did we bomb and kill somewhere between 62 and 82 Syrian soldiers, but we then bombed and destroyed bridges near Deir ez-Zor in the following weeks. It seems almost as though there was some afterthoughts about the Syrian peace agreement and the feeling that something should be done to deliberately sabotage it and to make it ineffective.
S-300 missile system cannot be used for offensive purposes - Russian MoD https://t.co/E8M3J1kjr3— RT (@RT_com) 4 октября 2016 г.
RT: What do you make of the US cooperating with Russia in Syria? The claim was it’s to fight terrorism. Do you believe that was genuinely the case?
RB: You have to realize the US government is not of a single mind. The Department of Defense tends to be more pro-Russian, and the Department of State tends to be more favorable to the terrorists: to ISIS, to Al-Qaeda. So you have to distinguish between those two to some extent. I think the Department of Defense would be quite happy, given different leadership, to work closely with the Russians. On the other hand, the Department of State is totally dedicated to fulfilling the aims of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of destroying Syria, tearing it to pieces, giving some to Turkey, some advantages to the others. But I don’t see any convincing evidence that the State Department has any goal other than toppling the legitimate elected government of Syria.
RT: How will the US cutting ties with Russia impact the situation in Syria?
RB: It is essential Syria and Russia finally crushed the Aleppo pocket. It took many years to finally trap the rebels within the pocket. Keep in mind that the rebels are commanded by Al-Qaeda – they call it Al-Nusra, they change the names all the time. It is essentially Al-Qaeda; it is the force that brought down the twin towers and attacked the Pentagon on 9/11; they are in command.
The Syrian army with the help of the Russians has done some very ingenious things on the battlefield. They have managed to trap this rebel army in the pocket, and the pocket is rapidly shrinking. It is very much like a cancerous tumor that is being treated and it is gradually diminishing in size. Day by day the Syrian forces are moving more and more rapidly. They must capture and extinguish that Aleppo pocket, and it is essential that they do it and that they do not let anything intervene.
It is interesting – if you read the mainstream media, you would think that there is nothing going on in the Aleppo pocket except for attacking hospitals and civilians. The fact is the government has no interest in doing either one of those. But there is a vast rebel army in there. At one point early in the battle for the Aleppo pocket they assembled 95 tanks and thousands of troops to try to break out. Interestingly there was no mention of this in any Western media. The only thing which you saw was a little boy, who had been dazed by a bomb that fell nearby and had dust on his face…
No one talked about the tanks; no one talked about the massive forces raid by the enemy. The enemy in the Southern part of the Aleppo pocket attacked from both sides – it was a total of 40,000 troops, both inside and outside, trying to drive their way through. So the whole thing is very mis-portrayed. But it is essential that despite all of the adverse propaganda that both Russia and Syria and its allies complete the job; that they crushed that Aleppo pocket once and for all, and I think they are going to do it over the next couple of months.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.