Russia Rejects Kerry Demand to Ground All Planes in Syria

Deputy FM: Plan Is Unworkable With Rebels Committed to War

by Jason Ditz, September 22, 2016

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has rejected yesterday’s demand by Secretary of State John Kerry that all Russian and Syrian warplanes in Syria be grounded as part of a deal to get the already collapsed ceasefire revived.

This plan won’t work,” Ryabkov insisted, saying that the US and other parties in the Civil War continue to convince rebels that “war is the only way of resolvingg the problem and that violence is the only way of toppling Assad.”

Airstrikes were virtually halted last week, during the ceasefire, but after US warplanes attacked a Syrian Army base in Deir Ezzor, killing 83 soldiers, and rebels in and around Aleppo started escalating shelling of government positions, the Assad government withdrew from the ceasefire as well and resumed airstrikes.

The US has been railing at Russia since the ceasefire collapsed, but were complaining nearly as loudly even while the ceasefire was in effect and holding, and appeared angriest when Russia criticized the US airstrikes in Deir Ezzor. Russia, then, likely sees little reason to give in to US demands since it isn’t going to placate them anyhow.

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