And yet, US officials categorically reject such a scenario. “Not even any third party including the Iraqis”, he said.
Assad also took the opportunity to deny claims that there is an Iranian initiative on the table, saying there were only “ideas and principles” that are based on the issue of Syrian sovereignty and combatting terrorism. Like the Camp David peace agreement in the late 1970s, why should the United States need to bribe countries to accept something that improves their security?
In August of 2012, President Barack Obama would announce that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for intervention.
“Iran supports Syria and the Syrian people. These European double standards are unacceptable”, he said.
Historically, Assad-controlled Syria has been hostile to the United States and does have a lousy human rights record. It was in Iraq, where the Islamic State appeared under the protection of the USA. Turmoil reigns in both places and surrounding areas, and they have become havens for radical terror groups. A year later, after evidence emerged of Assad gassing unarmed civilians – including children – Russian Federation would once again step in to help remove Assad’s chemical arsenal. “There can’t be a role (for) the Assad regime in efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria, much less go against ISIL”.
Assad has been buoyed in recent weeks by signs of increased military support from his ally Russian Federation.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama might reach out to Putin in the coming days and would not rule out a meeting of the two leaders later this month at the United Nations General Assembly.
Kerry said Lavrov had told him that Russian Federation was only interested in confronting the threat posed by the Islamic State group in Syria.
Kerry did not offer details of the proposal but suggested it was about deconfliction – ensuring that US and Russian aircraft do not come into conflict with each other in Syria.
Christine Wormuth, undersecretary of defence for policy, said if Russian forces began regularly conducting military flights from the base, it would be necessary to find a way to coordinate movements. However, neither the administration nor its allies are eager for any kind of direct confrontation with Russian Federation.
The Russians also point out that their activities in Ukraine followed the overthrow of a democratically elected, Russia-friendly Ukrainian government by street mobs.