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Press Release

Russia Tells U.S.To Stop Cozying Up to Terrorists

September 2016

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U.S. State Department
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, joined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, addresses the media on February 12, 2016, at the Hilton Hotel join Munich, Germany, following a meeting of the International Syria Support Group.

Sept. 28, 2016 (EIRNS)—The Syrian offensive, backed by Russian air support and reinforced on the ground by Iran, is causing hysteria in Washington. In a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, this morning, U.S.Secretary of State John Kerry warned that

"the United States is making preparations to suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria—including on the establishment of the Joint Implementation Center—unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities,"

according to the readout issued by State Department spokesman John Kirby.

The Russians replied to Kerry’s outburst by advising the US to stop supporting terrorists in Syria.

"Mr Lavrov again emphasised that quite a few anti-government units that Washington calls ’moderate’ have not merely refused to carry out the September 9 Russian-US agreement on consolidating the truce and providing humanitarian access, but are merging with Jabhat al-Nusra and continue fighting against the Syrian army side by side with this al-Qaeda affiliate,"

reports the Russian Foreign Ministry account of the same phone call.

The phone call was preceded, yesterday, by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s release of the Russian text of the Sept. 9 cease-fire agreement. The English-language statement released by the Foreign Ministry reports that throughout the process of attempting to find a political solution to the Syrian war since the June 2012 Geneva communique,

"Russia continuously emphasized the need to fully separate the units of the so-called ’moderate’ opposition from ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra as soon as possible. ... We have never concealed that we consider destructive the American tactics of indiscriminately using any opponents of the legitimate Syrian Government in the struggle against it."

The statement notes that, last February, the U.S.promised to separate the US-backed groups from Al Nusra but that this promise was never fulfilled.

The statement later notes that Russia has always supported the publication of the US-Russian agreement, but that the US objected, "which raised doubts about their sincerity," yielding, in part, only after one of the documents was leaked by Associated Press. In publishing the texts in Russian,

"we are urging Washington to present to the public the entire package of agreements, including the JIC mandate whereby Russian and American military specialists undertake to identify targets and coordinate air attacks..."

"In addition, we hope that the United States will eventually fullfil its long-standing commitment on separation because many formations of militants whom Washington calls ’moderate’ are fighting on the side of Jabhat al-Nusra and have essentially merged with it,"

the statement concludes. "To repeat, no good has ever come from cozying up to terrorists."