Washington, 28 Rabiul Akhir 1437/7 February 2016 (MINA) – Russian support of the Syrian government indicates Moscow wants a military solution to the crisis in Syria that really require a political solution, a spokesman said Thursday.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Russian military activities in Syria continues to bolster the Bashar al-Assad regime and not the Syrian peace process – which Russia agreed to participate in last year, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Anadolu Agency.
“We would like to see Russian military activity in Syria be dedicated and focused exclusively on Daesh, and not on the opposition groups,” Kirby said. “We’re certainly seeing at least in the very recent past, you know, discordant messages.”
On the one hand, Russia has been saying it wants to see a political process move forward and a cease-fire with the support of the Vienna process.
But on the other hand, bombings by Russia continue – recently in Aleppo – that do not target Daesh but civilians and civilian infrastructures.
More than 1,730 civilians have been killed since Russia began airstrikes against opposition forces in Syria in September, according to the Syrian National Coalition.
“The actions to date have certainly not matched the words to date,” Kirby said and added that the U.S. wanted the Russian military to support their political commitments.
Kirby said Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov discussed the issue during a phone call Wednesday night, in which Lavrov “reaffirmed the importance of finding a political solution to this conflict and to working towards a cease-fire”.
He also said Kerry would discuss with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) the challenges that are represented by the recent actions of Russia, further displacement of civilians inside Syria and why peace talks had to be paused.
The Geneva talks were suspended Feb. 3 until Feb. 25, with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura saying “more work” was needed. The talks were stopped due to intensified fighting in the country.
Kerry and Lavrov are expected to meet next week with the ISSG during a security conference in Munich, Germany, where Kerry will also “have a series of bilateral and multi-lateral meetings on the sides of these conferences,” according to Kirby.
“They will try to agree on a cease-fire” he said.
With ISSG, Kerry will discuss how to accelerate an end to the Syria conflict and reiterate that the U.S. continues to pursue a political transition in Syria. (T/P010/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)