Western and some Middle Eastern media outlets have recently published more items criticising the activities of Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria, possibly at the prompting of their US partners. Russia has been blamed without any reason for the ongoing violence in Syria, allegedly because of Russia’s crude interference in the civilian conflict in which dozens of women and children are killed, and hospitals, schools and kindergartens destroyed by Russian bombs.
This information hysterics stands on shaky ground and has practical political goals. What are these goals?
To begin with, Russia regards the US policy in Syria as illogical and inconsistent, and isn’t the only one. On the one hand, Washington claims to share the opinion on the need for very serious collective efforts to stop the source of the global terrorist threat in Syria. On the other hand, Washington has conditioned the possibility of increasing its contribution to the fight against terrorism up to US capabilities on guarantees of a power reshuffle in Syria. Washington admits that Jabhat al-Nusra, which was recently renamed Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, is a terrorist organisation. However, Washington does not attack this terrorist group, for the past year refused to share information about the group’s location, and has closed its eyes to the fact that the US-sponsored armed Syrian opposition groups coordinate their activities with terrorists at joint command headquarters. US representatives have promised to divide those who have accepted the ceasefire regime from al-Nusra terrorists in order to create conditions for the termination of hostilities and for spreading the ceasefire agreement throughout the country, but they are not an inch closer to keeping this promise. Instead of working towards this goal, Washington keeps advancing ever new conditions that are actually designed to give al-Nusra and its combat allies a chance to prepare for continuing their armed confrontation with Syrian government forces.
Likewise, the US position regarding the political aspects of the Syrian settlement is unclear. The basis for this settlement has been coordinated and approved by UN Security Council resolutions, International Syria Support Group decisions and the 2012 Geneva Communique. Importantly, the United States greatly contributed to preparing these documents.
But the practical implementation of the coordinated provisions, including the roadmap on Syrian settlement, cannot begin, primarily because of the unconstructive position of the US-leaning Syrian opposition. Washington claims that this opposition is first, independent, and second, that it listens not only to the United States but also to some regional capitals. It should be noted that there is the Friends of Syria Group, which was created specifically to work with the opposition and those who can influence them. But we see no results of any activity for launching an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
We – and not only we – wonder if this is a simple case of US inability, or a deliberate policy of drawing out the Syrian conflict? Flirting with al-Nusra could lead to the rise of yet another terrorist monster.
We urge our US and other partners to give up their destructive rhetoric and reaffirm our openness to honest and effective cooperation in the fight against the global terrorist threat in Syria and the surrounding region. We are willing to continue to do our best, including collectively, to help the Syrians settle this drawn-out crisis as soon as possible in keeping with international law.