After several recent US demands that Russia halt all military operations against all Syrian rebel groups, and force the Syrian government to stop attacking rebels too, the US is now demanding that they ensure that no side in Aleppo is cut off from humanitarian aid.
The US also “warned” the UN Security Council about the possibility of sieges in Aleppo, but it’s unclear how Russia could even conceivably meet those demands, since the siege on the rebel-held eastern Aleppo has been broken, and the Nusra Front is aiming to impose a siege on the government-held districts.
Russia has, of course, been conducting airstrikes against Nusra, but the US has constantly been complaining about that too. US Ambassador Samantha Power called Russia’s vow to keep humanitarian corridors in east Aleppo open “chilling” just last week, and is now faulting Russia, not Nusra, for Nusra’s gains threatening to cut off the western part of the city.
While these obviously conflicting demands are nothing new for the US, which just generally likes to complain about Russia, the lack of criticism of Nusra’s effort to siege west Aleppo may suggest that the US is buying Nusra’s “rebranding,” as it tries to change its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in an effort to distance itself from its long-standing status as al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.
Nusra has made it clear this branding is just a cynical attempt to stop the US from cooperating with Russia in attacking them, but even with them flat out admitting it’s a ploy, that doesn’t mean the Obama Administration isn’t going to buy it.
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