BELGRADE – The US claim that Russian troops will go home in body bags if Moscow doesn’t end its Aleppo offensive is absurd, former CIA contractor Steven Kelley told RT. He said Russia is the only answer to defeating ISIS. Other experts also weigh in on the subject.
When asked about State Department spokesperson John Kirby’s warning that Russia “will continue to send troops home in body bags” if it doesn’t put an end to the offensive, Kelley said Washington is pretending to be fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) when it isn’t doing so at all.
“The US has always been the main sponsor and creator of Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS), so this charade that they are having anything to do with fighting Daesh in Syria is completely a farce, and I think the rest of the world is smart enough to realize that everything that comes out of the mouth of John Kirby or any of the State Department personnel is complete and utter balderdash,” Kelley said.
He advised Russian President Vladimir Putin to focus on “getting the job done,” as Russia is the only way IS will be defeated in Syria.
“Russia should sever all relations, and if I had anything to advise Mr. Putin, I would say get the job done, stop participating in any of these peace agreements and destroy Daesh and get the job over with,” he said.
“The US is not going to do anything to help removing (sic) Daesh and is going to do everything possible to reconstruct, rearm, and resupply, and put more personnel into the field. So everything they say is a lie, and Putin really needs to stop playing games with the US State Department and get the job done.”
Kelley went on to credit Russia for getting involved in Syria when it did, stating that the country would have been “completely overrun” by now if it didn’t.
“One can only hope that [Russia] will be resolute, they will finish the job, they will stop being distracted by these fake calls for ceasefires,” he said.
Meanwhile, political analyst Chris Bambery slammed the US for failing to realize that there is no separation between moderate rebels and militants on the ground.
“The Americans can’t on the one hand say they want to fight Daesh – the so-called Islamic State – but at the same time be supporting rebel groups like al-Nusra Front, and there is no separation between moderate rebels and jihadists on the ground. They are there together, fighting alongside each other, and in fact the jihadists make up the majority. Much of the arms provided and the recruits trained by the West… have gone over to those groups,” Bambery told RT.
“It’s strange to me that America can be almost in alliance with a group which is an affiliate of the organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks in Washington and New York.
“This does not seem a coherent policy.”
Referring to Washington’s threat of severing ties with Russia when it comes to Syria, Bambery said the situation is equivalent to a child “throwing their toys out of the pram,” adding that Washington needs Moscow to achieve a successful outcome in the war-torn country via a political process.
“They need the Russians to make a deal over Syria. They need them to bring Assad, as they did, to the table, and to kick off the talks,” he said, adding that US Secretary of State John Kerry “doesn’t seem to be actually capable to [rising] to the challenge of Syria, and bringing home an agreement which can end the civil war.”
Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, agreed that the US is failing to differentiate between rebel groups and militants.
“The US does not differentiate between the rebel groups they’re backing, with the exception of ISIS…When Kirby says there’s going to be Russians going to be going home in body bags and terrorism taking place on Russian soil, I have to scratch my head and say, ‘is this a threat coming from a government that’s actually backing groups like al-Nusra?’”
Reminding that al-Nusra is a branch of Al-Qaeda, Steinberg said: “We seem to have forgotten every lesson learned from 9/11, and we’re back in bed with the same forces who carried out those hideous attacks.”
When it comes to Kerry’s call for another ceasefire in Syria, Bambery says that his demand is impossible, as trust has to be rebuilt following the recent happenings.
“Confidence has to be rebuilt, the parties have to be brought back together again, in the way that we got that ceasefire in the first place. And rather than hectoring Russia, rather than hectoring what they seem to regard as opponents in this, they need to be working together to bring back that trust, to bring back the people around the table, where we can get that ceasefire going. And this is not a way of going about it…” he concluded.