US Seeks Breathing Space for Militants in Syria

US Seeks Breathing Space for Militants in Syria

A parliamentarian said repeated US calls for a halt to Russian and Syrian attacks on the eastern part of Aleppo are meant to give breathing space to foreign-backed militants.
"Their goal of [securing] a ceasefire is not to help the Syrian people, but to let terrorists survive," Mohammad Javad Jamali told ICANA on Sunday.  
The senior member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said Aleppo, the second biggest city of Syria and its economic capital that is close to Turkish borders, is of strategic importance in the Syrian conflict.
"Accomplishments of the Syrian Army, backed by the Russian air force and advisory services of its allies, have increased pressure on takfiri terrorists," he said.
Since 2011, Syria has been the scene of a standoff between the Syrian Army and foreign-backed militants fighting to bring down the government. Takfiris accuse Muslims who do not follow their extremist interpretation of Islam of being apostates punishable by death. They constitute the major part of militants in Syria.
The latest seven-day truce in Syria brokered by US and Russia expired last Monday.
Following the end of the ceasefire that was opposed and reportedly violated by some militant groups, the army launched an operation last Tuesday to retake eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo from militant groups, including the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly the Al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat Al-Nusra).

  Strategic Blow
"Aleppo's liberation will deal a strategic blow to takfiris and damage their morale," Jamali said.
Last Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to stop conducting airstrikes on Aleppo or else the US will cut ties with Moscow in seeking a political solution to the conflict.
On Thursday, Reuters reported a US official as saying the US administration is considering tougher responses to the Syrian assault on eastern Aleppo, including military options.
Jamali said the US calls for ceasefire cannot be trusted, as it has previously used them to help rearm and regroup terrorist groups to attack the Syrian Army.
"That is what they did in Khan Touman where they dealt a heavy below [to Syrian forces]," said the lawmaker.
On May 6, the Syrian Army and its allies lost the strategic village of Khan Touman to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and its allied groups, in which Iranian officials described "a major pre-planned violation" of a ceasefire that was still in place.
Lavrov said on Friday "Washington never delivered on its obligation to separate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and other extremist groups from the so-called moderate rebels", to whom the US provides support.
The parliamentarian said US failures to uphold its commitments are another proof that it is not only opposed to terrorists in Syria, but does its best to support them, in the hope of using them to topple the Syrian government.
"The US seeks to pressure Russia so the Aleppo problem could not be solved," Jamali stressed.


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