UN: US, Russia Fueling ‘Military Escalation’ in Syria

Says Nations Are Undermining Their Own Ceasefire Push

As the US and Russia keep announcing ultimately fruitless ceasefire efforts, the UN’s latest report is faulting both of them, along with other major powers involved in Syria, for continuing to fuel military escalation of the conflict through their actions on the ground.

The report detailed war crimes committed by numerous factions in the war, little to no accountability, and a seemingly interminable effort to make matters worse on the ground by seemingly everyone, in the hopes they could parlay to some benefit for their faction.

Russia’s escalation is a straightforward one, backing the expansion of Syrian military offensives in the days leading up to ceasefires they supposedly desperately want. At the same time, the US is arming so many groups these days that half the time they’re on both sides of major battles.

That’s been the historic problem with these speculative future ceasefires, as everybody seemingly scrambles to get the best position possible before the pause begins, and their international allies are just egging them on, meaning by the time the ceasefire date hits the fighting is even more out of control.

The UN report also notes that the Syrian military is increasingly short on fighters, and forced to rely on Shi’ite militias to do what normally would’ve been the work of the military. They warned this is leaving the Syrian government in a precarious position.

This would seemingly make the ceasefire all the more important for them, but recent gains on the ground, backed by Russian airstrikes, have some of the Syrian leadership believing that they’re getting into a better negotiating position as they delay.

At the same time, the rebels believe the offensive has put them in too weak of a position to negotiate, and are whining about the US “abandoning” them by expressing any support for a pause, even though the US continues to throw arms at them to keep fighting.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.