Global Independent Analytics

Syrian civil war: Russia, U.S. to work together

While world leaders decry the bombing of a children's hospital in Aleppo, an unusual partnership in the Syrian civil war is forming in Geneva

Holly Yan for CNN reports: U.S. and Russian military members will work together at a monitoring center in Geneva, Switzerland to keep tabs on the so-called cessation of hostilities in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"Now we will have a permanent monitoring center where U.S. and Russian counterparts will be sitting at the same table," Lavrov said Tuesday in a joint news conference with Staffan de Mistura, the U.N.'s special envoy to Syria.

"They will be looking at the same maps. They will be analyzing proposals, and they will work together to make sure that any violations are nipped in the bud. Probably this is a major step forward toward a more intensive coordination of the efforts by Russia and the U.S."

While Russia efficiently backs the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. administration blames him for deaths of civilians in opposition areas. De Mistura expressed his proudness regarding the fact that the U.N. managed to quickly establish a sophisticated operations center, involving both Russian and U.S. sides.

The special envoy said the operations center could help contain violence "through the influence each side can have. And I believe that can also be an experiment for the future, if this, as I hope, will be working," he added. But every day, the violence in Syria continues unabated.

Yan continues: “The city of Aleppo, once Syria's bustling cultural and economic hub, is now a war-torn wasteland. Hospitals lay in ruins, reduced to rubble in attacks blamed on government forces and rebels. Aleppo has seen "catastrophic deterioration" in recent days, said Jan Egeland, chairman of the U.N. task force on humanitarian access in Syria.”

The latest attack on a pediatric hospital in Aleppo resulted in tens of deaths; however, Russia, U.S. and Syrian forces have denied their involvement in the incident. "The bottom line is there is no justification for this horrific violence that targets civilians or medical facilities or first responders no matter who it is, whether it's a member of the opposition retaliating or the regime in its brutality against the civilians which has continued for five years," Kerry said.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

For several days now, the BBC has been running footage from Aleppo’s bombed hospital and ruined streets and giving the false impression that the Syrian government was behind the atrocities. It constantly played an interview with a UN official who argued, with a pained expression on his face, against states going for realpolitik and failing to enact a humanitarian intervention - which would mean attacking the Syrian Arab Army, as the Syrian Army is the only force besides the Kurdish YPG that is truly fighting ISIS.  Now US Secretary of State John Kerry took a courageous stance and admitted that rebels shelled the hospital and not the Syrian government.  He is seeking to work for calm.  Kerry has long taken a mature and reasonable position on Syria, the problem is not all issues are under his control. We are likely to see Kerry trying to keep the flames lower while he is in office (with all hell breaking loose later if Hillary gets elected). This is a good time for Americans to educate themselves about the reality in Syria and how President Assad, with whom Viriginia State Senator Dick Black just met, is protecting the minorities of Syria and fighting against jihadists and terrorists, supported by the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Israel. There is a window of opening for people to realize that Assad is not “killing his own people” but that western-backed terrorists are the ones killing Syrians. 

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