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Washington Hints at a Military “Plan B” in Syria in the Event that the Ceasefire Fails | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry

The US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States may resort to an alternative “Plan B” and a new military initiative in Syria in the event that there is a lack of progress in securing a ceasefire in the country.

Kerry said in an interview with David Ignatius, a journalist at The Washington Post, that he has hoped Moscow would realise that reaching a peaceful solution would guarantee a political transition that would serve its interests since the beginning of the Russian intervention in the Syrian conflict. However, Moscow has failed to “evaluate the disaster of the war continuing and it believes that it will win” by supporting the Assad regime with airstrikes. He added, “What we’re doing is testing [Russian and Iranian] seriousness,” he said. “And if they’re not serious, then there has to be consideration of a Plan B. . . . You can’t just sit there.”

In response to American politicians’ criticisms of the Obama administration’s “timid” policy towards Syria, Kerry defended the political negotiations to reach a ceasefire, and said that “the talks need maturity and if one of the parties believe that it is the winner (on the ground), it will ask for conditions that will not be accepted by the losing party which will result in the continuation of the massacre”.

This American threat to adopt an alternative plan came before the international conference to discuss the Syrian crisis in the German city of Munich which is scheduled to take place tomorrow. An official at the American State Department said that consultations between Washington and Moscow regarding the cease-fire in Syria and humanitarian aid are ongoing and alluded to the existence of some “constructive” ideas.

Meanwhile, Ankara summoned the US ambassador in protest after the US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Washington did not regard Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organisation.