In an attempt to clarify questions about the Syrian ceasefire, and the Nusra Front not being a party to it, Secretary of State John Kerry today offered more details, confirming that the US and Russia needed to provide joint permission before the Syrian government was allowed to launch any airstrikes.
“Assad is not supposed to be bombing the opposition,” Kerry insisted. “He is allowed to target Nusra but that will be on strikes that are agreed upon with Russia and the United States in order to go after them.”
The last ceasefire struggled with this question, as it also excluded Nusra and ISIS, but Nusra was so heavily embedded with so many rebel ceasefire participants that it opened up almost every rebel group to targeting. The US is now warning its allies not to embed with Nusra.
State Department officials sought to insist this approving of all targeting was short of actual US cooperation with the Syrian government, insisting that they are only cooperating with Russia, and not with Syria itself.