State Dept. Clarifies Kerry’s Remark that US Would Consult with Syrian Regime Over Airstrikes


Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement about the new cease-fire negotiated by the U.S. and Russia inside Syria that the State Department scrambled to clarify Monday.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Kerry said the agreement mandates that any strikes conducted by the Bashar al-Assad regime against the Nusra Front would have to be approved by the U.S. and Russia ahead of time. That would mean — in other words — that after five years of calling for Assad to go, the U.S. has now negotiated a deal that would have it working with the regime on airstrikes.

Immediately following the briefing Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a clarifying statement, saying that Kerry was wrong.

“We have seen reports, based on the secretary’s comments … this afternoon, that the U.S. and Russia could approve of strikes by the Syrian regime. This is incorrect,” Kirby said in the statement.

“To clarify: the arrangement announced last week makes no provision whatsoever for the U.S. and Russia to approve strikes by the Syrian regime, and this is not something we could ever envision doing,” the statement continued.

Kirby also told ABC News that there are predetermined areas that Assad will not be allowed to strike — areas that are Nusra-dominated, but protected by the U.S. due to the intermingling of opposition forces.

It’s unclear, according to Kirby, who if anyone will be approving future strikes conducted by the Assad regime, beyond the restrictions that they must follow the new maps that outline legitimate targets. The regime can, under this plan, continue to strike ISIS, but it most follow strict guidelines not to hit the opposition. However, all strikes by the regime are supposed to be on hold for the next seven days, according to the agreement.

Kerry spoke to the complexity of the war zone Monday.

“I’ve been in public life for more than four decades now, and I have never seen a more complicated or entangled political and military, sectarian, somewhat religiously-overtoned issue than what exists in Syria today. There are a bunch of wars going on, a bunch of different tensions between people, and you can cite them, whether it’s Kurd and Turkey or Kurd and Kurd or Sunni/Shia or Assad versus or others versus Assad or countries that don’t get along with each other in the region. This is a very toxic mix of interests and of agenda.”

Included in that dynamic are the geopolitical giants, Russia and the U.S., who have both inserted themselves militarily into the Syria civil war. Russia backs the Assad regime, while the U.S. backs a number of opposition forces. Both parties aim to destroy ISIS.

If the seven-day period of calm holds, the plan faces a new hurdle. At that point, the U.S. and Russia agree they would form a joint implementation center, or JIC. There, in an unlikely military alliance, armed forces representatives from both Russia and the U.S. would engage in intelligence sharing aimed at defeating their common enemy: ISIS and al-Qaeda extremists.

“The purpose of the JIC, if and when it is established, would be to coordinate military action between the U.S. and Russia, not for any other party,” Kirby said in his statement Monday.

The cease-fire went into effect at sundown Monday. The most urgent need is for the delivery of humanitarian aid, which officials are hopeful can be delivered in the coming days. Assad’s army has said it will honor the cease-fire, while the major rebel groups have yet to weigh in.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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State Dept. Clarifies Kerry’s Remark that US Would Consult with Syrian Regime Over Airstrikes


Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement about the new cease-fire negotiated by the U.S. and Russia inside Syria that the State Department scrambled to clarify Monday.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Kerry said the agreement mandates that any strikes conducted by the Bashar al-Assad regime against the Nusra Front would have to be approved by the U.S. and Russia ahead of time. That would mean — in other words — that after five years of calling for Assad to go, the U.S. has now negotiated a deal that would have it working with the regime on airstrikes.

Immediately following the briefing Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a clarifying statement, saying that Kerry was wrong.

“We have seen reports, based on the secretary’s comments … this afternoon, that the U.S. and Russia could approve of strikes by the Syrian regime. This is incorrect,” Kirby said in the statement.

“To clarify: the arrangement announced last week makes no provision whatsoever for the U.S. and Russia to approve strikes by the Syrian regime, and this is not something we could ever envision doing,” the statement continued.

Kirby also told ABC News that there are predetermined areas that Assad will not be allowed to strike — areas that are Nusra-dominated, but protected by the U.S. due to the intermingling of opposition forces.

It’s unclear, according to Kirby, who if anyone will be approving future strikes conducted by the Assad regime, beyond the restrictions that they must follow the new maps that outline legitimate targets. The regime can, under this plan, continue to strike ISIS, but it most follow strict guidelines not to hit the opposition. However, all strikes by the regime are supposed to be on hold for the next seven days, according to the agreement.

Kerry spoke to the complexity of the war zone Monday.

“I’ve been in public life for more than four decades now, and I have never seen a more complicated or entangled political and military, sectarian, somewhat religiously-overtoned issue than what exists in Syria today. There are a bunch of wars going on, a bunch of different tensions between people, and you can cite them, whether it’s Kurd and Turkey or Kurd and Kurd or Sunni/Shia or Assad versus or others versus Assad or countries that don’t get along with each other in the region. This is a very toxic mix of interests and of agenda.”

Included in that dynamic are the geopolitical giants, Russia and the U.S., who have both inserted themselves militarily into the Syria civil war. Russia backs the Assad regime, while the U.S. backs a number of opposition forces. Both parties aim to destroy ISIS.

If the seven-day period of calm holds, the plan faces a new hurdle. At that point, the U.S. and Russia agree they would form a joint implementation center, or JIC. There, in an unlikely military alliance, armed forces representatives from both Russia and the U.S. would engage in intelligence sharing aimed at defeating their common enemy: ISIS and al-Qaeda extremists.

“The purpose of the JIC, if and when it is established, would be to coordinate military action between the U.S. and Russia, not for any other party,” Kirby said in his statement Monday.

The cease-fire went into effect at sundown Monday. The most urgent need is for the delivery of humanitarian aid, which officials are hopeful can be delivered in the coming days. Assad’s army has said it will honor the cease-fire, while the major rebel groups have yet to weigh in.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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You must be logged in to post a comment.