While all the combatant factions seemed to get sick of the Syrian ceasefire at about the same time, US officials are trying to make it clear they hold the Assad government exclusively to blame, with the White House demanded they “live up to the commitments that they’ve made.”
Secretary of State John Kerry singled out Assad as to blame for the “chaos” in Aleppo, where a flurry of tit-for-tat attacks on civilian neighborhoods have killed some 250 people, saying he is pushing for Russia to do something about the situation there.
The reality of the situation, however, is that in Aleppo the fighting has been between the Syrian military and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda faction deliberately excluded from the ceasefire. This makes all the fire being traded there not subject to the ceasefire, though with both sides killing civilians almost exclusively, it is increasingly unclear what anyone expects to accomplish from it.
The US-backed rebels have pushed the narrative that any firing on Nusra is a “violation” of the ceasefire, because the al-Qaeda affiliate is so closely allied to several Islamist factions that are party to the ceasefire. That clearly was never meant to be the case, and indeed the rebels had already abandoned the peace talks before the Aleppo firing started, only using it as a retroactive excuse.
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