Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Western, Gulf Countries to Washington: Stop Aleppo’s Massacre or Arm the Opposition | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Vatican Pope Syria: Pope Francis shakes hands with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, as they meet at the Vatican Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016/AP

Paris, Moscow, Beirut – Western and Gulf countries escalated their tone vis-à-vis the U.S. on Thursday to pressure Washington “do something” concerning the unprecedented ground and air assaults launched by the Syrian regime and Russia against the city of Aleppo.

More than 400 were killed and 1,700 were injured since a ceasefire collapsed last week, according to numbers presented by the Civil Defense in Aleppo yesterday.

Western diplomatic sources in Paris told Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday that if the U.S. does not act to stop the massacre in the eastern city of Syria, then, western, Gulf and Turkish parties concerned by the Syrian crisis might possibly “abandon” the restrictions that Washington had placed concerning arming the Syrian opposition.

“The most probable reply to the military developments in Aleppo is for those concerned states to overlook the U.S. objections, and to provide the Syrian opposition with more sophisticated weapons, allowing it to survive,” the sources said, adding that such procedures were on their way for execution.

“The western, Gulf and Turkish parties might work unilaterally as long as the U.S. administration was still hesitant to act at the field level and was betting on the positive Russian role, which would never happen,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, Moscow was angry yesterday in replying to the recent U.S. comments, particularly the warning carried by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to stop collaborating with Moscow, and the comments of U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby concerning a possibility that ISIS attacks Russian cities.

“These U.S. threats are unacceptable and are used to place Russia in a position where it should offer justifications,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

At the field level, Syria’s armed opposition chose yesterday to respond to the massacres committed by the Syrian regime and their allies in Aleppo by expanding their field of military operations in the countryside of northern Hama, where they made an important development yesterday through controlling tow big towns in the area.

At the Vatican, U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Thursday: “At the moment, when bombs are falling all over, it is very difficult to justify resuming talks.”

After meeting with Pope Francis, de Mistura said: “Some might believe that we could recuperate Aleppo by shelling the eastern part of the city, however, the situation is not like this. You can’t bomb your way to peace in Syria.”