Just days ahead of the latest Syrian ceasefire, brokered by the US and Russia, both the US and Russia seem to be laying the groundwork for its quick collapse, and getting ready to blame one another for the pact not working.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the US of redefining the terms of the ceasefire after the deal was already made, suggesting this was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the process by shifting expectations on what would happen on Saturday morning. Russia noted that the deal excludes ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, and insists strikes against both will continue.
US allegations were a bit more strange, with officials complaining Russia had been backing an offensive for the past three weeks, a period of time which is not part of the ceasefire and includes considerable time before the deal was even reached. It seems particularly unreasonable for the US to have expected Russia to comply with the ceasefire before it was negotiated, but they insist this raises “general suspicion” about whether Russia will comply when the ceasefire does exist.
Officials also say Secretary of State John Kerry’s talk of partitioning Syria was a function of Pentatgon suspicions about Russia, saying it just reflects the US getting ready for the ceasefire’s eventual collapse, and the policy shift that will come after.
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